Spider-Man is back (again), and this time he will be played by a small-time English teen.
Marvel Studios and Sony Pictures announced Tuesday that the role of Peter Parker, previously played by Toby McGuire and Andrew Garfield, will be played by 19-year-old Tom Holland. This makes Holland the third actor to take on the role since 2002.
The new Jon Watts-directed film, which will be released in July 2017, will follow Spider-Man’s teenage alter ego Peter Parker in his high school years, Reuters reports. The currently untitled film will aim to let the world experience Spider-Man at a younger age of his life, something they have yet to do. Holland is expected to first appear as Spider-Man in the upcoming Captain America installment, which is set to release in 2016.
Holland can be seen in the 2012 tsunami drama The Impossible as Naomi Watts’ son and the British TV miniseries Wolf Hall. He will also appear in the upcoming Ron Howard-directed film In the Heart of the Sea alongside Chris Hemsworth (a guy who knows a thing or two about playing a superhero).
Holland was selected after a worldwide casting search for the next Spider-Man. Chairman of Sony Pictures Motion Pictures Group Tom Rothman said in a statement that “For Spidey himself, we saw many terrific young actors, but Tom’s screen tests were special.” He added that the team is off to “a roaring start.”
So what made him so special? Maybe it was his great previous acting, singing and dancing, or maybe it was his insane Instagram feed? Holland has posted several videos of himself doing impressive flips and stunts in what appears to be his backyard. It looks like he’ll have no trouble hanging upside down from buildings and scaling walls on screen.
Although he seems like the right candidate to Marvel and Sony, some Spidey fans were hoping for a black actor to take on the role in the new installment. According to Telegraph, fans were specifically hoping the character would be replaced by the half-black, half-Latino Miles Morales. The character in the cartoon book spin-off, which was recently been promoted to the Marvel Comics universe, has obtained a fervid following since 2011.
Holland’s casting announcement comes on the heels of the latest Sony email-hack drama which revealed the contractual agreement between Sony and Marvel concerning the portrayal of Spider-Man. The deal stated that Peter Parker had to be “white, heterosexual and clean living.”
Essentially, these requirements maintain Spider-Man’s look and personality traits. He’s been the same for 53 years.
The creator, Stan Lee, explained that “It has nothing to do with being anti-gay, or anti-black, or anti-Latino, or anything like that.” “Latino characters should stay Latino. The Black Panther should certainly not be Swiss. I just see no reason to change that which has already been established when it’s so easy to add new characters. I say create new characters the way you want to. Hell, I’ll do it myself,” Lee said.