Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered: Why Peter Parker’s New Design Is Controversial

Ben Jordan has replaced John Bubniak as the face of Peter Parker in Marvel's Spider-Man Remastered on PS5 and the internet is losing it.

Spider-Man Remastered
Photo: PlayStation Studios

Developer Insomniac Games has recast Peter Parker’s face model in Marvel’s Spider-Man Remastered in an attempt to better utilize the visual upgrades offered by the PS5 and to set the series up for its future on the next-gen console. When Peter Parker appears on the PS5, it’ll be with the face of Ben Jordan and not John Bubniak.

As you might expect, the fan reaction to this change has been…interesting so far. In fact, the first thing that most people pointed out is that Peter Parker’s new face actor bears more than a passing resemblance to current big-screen Spider-Man actor, Tom Holland.

While the “Tom Holland” comparison isn’t universal, many do feel that the redesign of the character does trend closer towards Tom Holland’s real-life looks. Some fans are even having quite a bit of fun pointing out that the new model is actually a budget version of the popular actor:

While most of the Tom Holland comparisons fans are making are in good fun, some players are going a bit further by suggesting that this change was potentially a deliberate move from Insomniac to associate the game with the MCU (despite the fact the game takes place in a separate universe). Others are drawing comparisons to the controversial character models in Square Enix’s Marvel’s Avengers game, which some fans also felt suspiciously resembled notable MCU actors:

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Yet, the most interesting reactions to this face swap come from those who feel that this new character model doesn’t necessarily match the game’s story or the timeline of the upcoming Miles Morales game.

That argument is certainly worth talking about. While it’s entirely possible that the “younger” looking model is just representative of a person who looks younger than they actually are, Miles Morales now looks significantly older than Peter despite the fact that he’s still supposed to be Parker’s younger protege.

Furthermore, the game’s original Peter Parker model drew praise from some fans not only because it wasn’t a clear copy of an existing Peter Parker design (even though it did send off some light Andrew Garfield vibes) but because the design felt inspired by the game’s story. After all, the Peter Parker of Marvel’s Spider-Man has already been Spider-Man for quite some time at the start of the game. It makes sense that he would look a little older and perhaps even a little worn down by the burdens of his duties.

In response to some of these concerns, Insomniac creative director Bryan Intihar took to Twitter to elaborate on the team’s decision to remodel Peter Parker for this remaster:

While Intihar’s statement doesn’t necessarily address concerns about why Insomniac went with this particular character design when recasting Peter Parker’s face actor, it’s interesting that he notes that this new design best suits “our upcoming goals for this beloved Marvel character.” That’s likely just another way of saying that this redesign eliminates some technical problems, but it also leaves the door open for the possibility that this swap was partially based on creative decisions.

We should also mention that most reactions to this news are at least fairly understanding. While some unanswered questions remain regarding Insomniac’s decision to go this particular route with the redesign, excitement still seems to be generally high for both the visually impressive Spider-Man Remastered and the equally promising Spider-Man: Miles Morales.

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Both games will be available on the PS5 on Nov. 12.