While Asa Butterfield was looking like the frontrunner to play Peter Parker in Sony and Marvel’s rebooted Spider-Man franchise, the studios have come to a different decision: According to The Hollywood Reporter, Tom Holland has been cast as the new Spider-Man.
If you don’t know his name, it’s not surprising: The up-and-comer has had roles in tsunami drama The Impossible, dystopian adaptation How I Live Now, and the recent Wolf Hall miniseries, but is still mostly unknown. That and the fact that he’s actually a teenager are likely factors that contributed to Marvel and Sony bringing him on.
So far, the Internet reaction has been positive: Those who have seen Holland’s movies, including Entertainment Weekly senior writer Anthony Breznican, have been impressed by his work.
Now Holland has to head straight to Atlanta, Georgia, where Captain America: Civil War is filming. After a brief cameo in that movie, he’ll be working on the first rebooted Spider-Man standalone movie, set entirely in high school. Jon Watts (The Onion News Network, Cop Car) will direct.
In the official press release, Sony Pictures Motion Picture Group Chairman Tom Rothman said,
It’s a big day here at Sony. Kevin [Feige], Amy [Pascal] and their teams have done an incredible job. The Marvel process is very thorough, and that’s why their results are so outstanding. I’m confident Spider-Man will be no exception. I’ve worked with a number of up-and-coming directors who have gone on to be superstars and believe that Jon is just such an outstanding talent. For Spidey himself, we saw many terrific young actors, but Tom’s screen tests were special. All in all, we are off to a roaring start.
Marvel’s Kevin Feige talked a little bit about the franchise’s newest director:
As with James Gunn, Joss Whedon, and the Russo brothers, we love finding new and exciting voices to bring these characters to life. We spent a lot of time with Jon and find his take and work inspiring.
Sony’s Amy Pascal chimed in with praise for Holland:
Sony, Marvel, Kevin and I all knew that for Peter Parker, we had to find a vibrant, talented young actor capable of embodying one of the most well-known characters in the world. With Tom, we’ve found the perfect actor to bring Spider-Man’s story into the Marvel Cinematic Universe.