British actor Andrew Garfield cast as new Spider-Man

Image caption,
Andrew Garfield won a TV Bafta for his role in gritty drama Boy A

British actor Andrew Garfield is to play comic book superhero Spider-Man in the next outing of the film series, it has been announced.

The 26-year-old, raised in the UK but born in California, will begin work on the new movie in December.

His previous credits include last year's The Imaginarium of Dr Parnassus alongside the late Heath Ledger.

Former Spider-Man star Tobey Maguire and director Sam Raimi departed the franchise after making three films.

'Rare combination'

The new instalment, to be shot in 3D, will focus on the formative years of Peter Parker, the unremarkable youth who - after being bitten by a radioactive spider, is transformed into the superhero.

The movie has yet to be named.

Marc Webb, who will direct Garfield in the film, said of the new star: "Though his name may be new to many, those who know this young actor's work understand his extraordinary talents.

"He has a rare combination of intelligence, wit, and humanity. Mark my words, you will love Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker."

Image caption,
Garfield starred in an episode of Doctor Who set in 1930's New York

Spider-Man producer Avi Arad added: "We believe we have found the perfect choice to take on this role and lead us into the future."

Garfield, who was revealed to the press as the new Spider-Man in Cancun, Mexico, has a wealth of British TV roles to his credit.

He won the best actor Bafta in 2008 for his role in hard-hitting Channel 4 drama Boy A.

Brought up in Surrey, his other credits include Doctor Who, Sugar Rush and Channel 4's Red Riding trilogy.

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