LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - The sticky web of comic book crime fighter Spider-Man has caught a new gal for a new movie.
Emma Stone, a 22-year-old starlet who has appeared in movies such as "Zombieland" and the comedy "Easy A," will play the leading female role of Gwen Stacy in the upcoming action adventure set for release in 2012, Columbia Pictures said on Tuesday.
The studio announcement confirmed reports from unnamed sources from one day earlier about Stone's involvement in the reboot of the popular film franchise.
Stacy was a supporting character in the original Spider-Man comic books. She appeared in 2007's "Spider Man 3," but was portrayed by Bryce Dallas Howard. For the upcoming "Spider-Man" movie, Stacy has been elevated to the lead role.
Stone has been acting since she was a child in Arizona, and in Hollywood she has been among up-and-coming actresses to watch in recent years.
Her roles have grown from TV movies like "The New Partridge Family" to hit feature films such as "Superbad." She has several movies set for 2011 and 2012.
"It's been an incredible journey for us to watch Emma's star rise as an actress. She is extraordinarily talented and has a very special on-screen spark that is perfect for this role," Columbia president Matt Tolmach said in a statement.
A series of three previous blockbuster movies featuring Tobey Maguire as Peter Parker and Kirsten Dunst as his love interest, Mary Jane Watson, ended in 2007 and raked in a combined $2.5 billion at global box offices.
But in January, Sony dropped plans to make "Spider-Man 4" and instead decided to relaunch the series by taking Peter Parker back to high school and hiring a new actor to play him.
In July, little-known Andrew Garfield won the Peter Parker/Spider-Man role, and production on the new 3D movie starts in December with a release date set for July 3, 2012.
Garfield recently has made a big splash in the current hit movie, "The Social Network" about the founding of Facebook.
Editing by Belinda Goldsmith