Lead interweb geek Harry Knowles has dug up the latest on the casting for Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 3. The titular web-slinger’s other love interest, Gwen Stacy (part of one of the more popular and important story arcs in Spider-Man’s history), is apparently in with the adorable Bryce Dallas Howard now signed for the role. Here’s what Harry had to say:

"As of about an hour ago, the contract was signed. Sam Raimi and Avi Arad have their sweetheart. They’ve cast young Bryce Howard, yes, Ron Howard’s daughter – the one playing the title character in M Night’s next film. Bryce is just about the hottest young emerging talent out there right now – and she is, like her father once was, a redhead… but like Ron – she’s going b… no, not bald, but BLONDE – hopefully Platinum Blonde for the role of Gwen Stacy. Avi wouldn’t tell me if Bryce was signed for one or two pictures. But the key for me was always Gwen’s eyes. She had amazing, captivating grey-blue newsprint eyes. Here’s the photo Avi sent me, with the note, ‘Of course she will be blonde..’"

For his full story, click here.

It’ll be interesting to see where Sam’s going to take this. For those of you unfamiliar with the Gwen Stacy story arc, Google it or go here to get some info. This could add a whole new layer to the world already setup by Raimi in his last two flicks. Whether the Gwen Stacy character is only going to be simply established in Spider-Man 3 (and slowly become part of a larger storyline) or whether it’ll actually be part of this film’s focal point remains to be seen. I do like the development (and the casting) however. Plus, someone that takes away from Kirsten Dunst’s screen time is never a bad thing.

Spider-Man 3 is currently lensing and is expected to open in May of 2007.