Josh Keaton, who voices Peter Parker/Spider-Man in the upcoming animated The Spectacular Spider-Man, faced some challenges bringing the world-famous superhero to life. Speaking to Marvel.com, Keaton talked about his own history with the character.
Keaton revealed that he was a fan of the web-slinger as a kid, and upon earning the role, went back and picked up the "Essential" collections of Spider-Man for research into the character. Asked what it was like to bring the character to life, Keaton responded:
In the beginning it's really kind of daunting because you know how many people are fans of this character and of this whole world that's been created, and you don't want to let any of them down. You want to do the part justice so that everyone can have something that they can look at and say "That's Spider-Man, that's it." But honestly, at the same time, it's probably the coolest thing that's ever happened to me in my life. I get to be Spider-Man! You really can't ask for anything cooler than that.
Keaton said that while he didn't base his portrayal on any particular previous interpretation of the character, he did consider the character's history in figuring out how he would tackle Spidey. But he did describe what he felt was the character's defining characteristic:
Yeah, Spidey's defining characteristic is inner conflict. He has two sides of him that are competing. They're both him, and at the same time they're competing against each other. The more time he spends as Spider-Man, it's almost like a drug. He needs Spider-Man to cope with his daily life, but at the same time he can't really reveal that that's who he is. So he's forced to end up spending more and more time as Spider-Man. So it's that whole inner turmoil that really kind of guides his life. There's so much conflict in his life and that's something I think everybody can relate to, everybody can pull a piece of that out and say yeah, I understand that.
Keaton also said of Peter Parker, "He kind of wants to have a normal high-school life... He still loves what he has, and I don't think he would ever in a million years give up his intelligence to just be a football star like Flash Thompson but on some level he wants some of what that is, and he wants to have some of that cool life."
The Spectacular Spider-Man premiers on the CW network on Saturday, March 8, 2008.