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'Spider-Man' female leads: they're getting closer

Some new names are popping up surrounding the casting of Spider-Man’s love interest in the reboot of the webbed superhero starring Andrew Garfield. Sony and director Marc Webb (500 Days of Summer) continue to test actresses, but, as it turns out, it’s not for one female lead but two. So attention all you comic book fans out there: It looks like this Spider-Man, which is set in high school, will feature both of Spidey’s most prominent love interests, the red-headed Mary Jane Watson, played in the last three movies by Kirsten Dunst, and blonde Gwen Stacy, which Bryce Dallas Howard played in Spider-Man 3, say sources close to the production.

As such, the studio is casting a rather wide net. It flew Mia Wasikowska, best known as Alice from Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland, in from New York to meet with Webb and Garfield. While, most recently, Easy A’s Emma Stone read with Garfield for the role.

The studio is being very mum as to who could possibly be the front runners for the two parts and declined to comment for this story. Other names are also said to be circling the high-profile project. Yet it’s easy to imagine that the two roles could go to both Stone and Wasikowska. The red-headed Stone has starred in four movies for the studio and is said to have a great relationship with Sony head Amy Pascal. Stone has come on strong ever since last year’s Zombieland and only solidified her place as a go-to young actress with the success of Easy A, which bowed last weekend to just under $18 million. Stone is currently filming The Help for DreamWorks, where she stars as the lead character Skeeter Phelan in the period piece based on Kathryn Stockett’s best-selling novel.

I’m told that Wasikowska’s interest in the film has been more ambivalent. While she was an integral part to the huge 3-D spectacle that was Alice in Wonderland, the Australian actress might be more rooted in indie films. She’s recently received kudos for her part in Lisa Cholodenko’s The Kids are All Right and also wrapped Jane Eyre for Focus Features and BBC Films. It’s not clear who else the studio is interested in. Lily Collins, the daughter in The Blind Side is said to have meet with the studio, too.

This rebooted Spider-Man is supposed to begin filming by the end of the year and is already scheduled for release in Summer 2012.

Originally posted September 23 2010 — 7:03 PM EDT

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