Spectacular Spider-Man Actor Opens Up About Disney Recasting Him With Drake Bell - And Never Telling Him

The leading actor of The Spectacular Spider-Man opens up about Disney recasting him with Drake Bell without properly informing him. While Spider-Man has been depicted in animation for decades, one of the shows that have continued to have a cult following is The Spectacular Spider-Man, starring Josh Keaton as the web-slinger. Despite being short-lived, Keaton recently got to revisit the role through Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse in a prominent cameo.
However, Keaton is opening up more about the end of his Spider-Man experience back in 2009 when The Spectacular Spider-Man was canceled. During a recent live stream (via @SpiderMan3News), the popular voice actor revealed that he was initially supposed to get to wrap up his run as the Marvel icon through Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes, which got canceled in favor of Avengers Assemble. While he had recorded dialogue for his big episode, Keaton revealed that he had to find out that Bell had replaced him the night the episode aired, sharing the following story:
This was after Spectacular Spider-Man, that I finished recording for, and I knew it wasn't going to get picked up. We didn't know that Ultimate Spider-Man was even going to happen yet when I recorded it. We were kind of aware that the show wasn't going to get picked up because they were taking a really long time to tell us. They never told us it was going to be canceled; they just never told us it wasn't going to get picked up. They had initially said that they wanted to have us on their network, on Disney XD, because it was a new network, and they wanted us to headline the network. But then what ended up happening was that they started showing the show out of order, they never had it on the same time, and they never did any promotion for it. So we were like, 'They are putting it on here to die, aren't they?' Then when we didn't hear anything about it, we knew that they were probably getting rid of the show.
But Avengers: Earth's Mightiest Heroes was going to be kind of like my sendoff, so I was like 'Alright, that's sweet! At least I get to play Spider-Man in this last thing. That's cool, that's awesome.' And then, the night that it aired, I was going to watch it...I watched it and I was like 'Wow, that's not my voice!' He's hitting all the same beats I am hitting as me because the animation was probably already all done so they had him just kind of listen and repeat to what I did and say 'Now, you do it.' Then when I looked at the credits, it said Drake Bell and that's around when they announced 'We are coming out with Ultimate Spider-Man!' and Drake Bell is going to play Ultimate Spider-Man. I was like 'That sucks! That sucks that they did that to me!' Like they could have at least called me so I wouldn't have gotten so excited.


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