It’s been a long and winding road, but Marvel has officially found their new Spider-Man. The web slinger will be played by Tom Holland come July 28, 2017 and the new film will be directed by Jon Watts. There is a lot to digest here, so let’s look at a few points of observation.
To recap, back in February it was announced that Marvel and Sony had come to an agreement regarding Spider-Man. Though the character (and subsequent universe) is owned by Sony, they have agreed to “share” the character with Marvel Studios. He will first appear in a Marvel film (everybody assumes it will be Captain America: Civil War) before the new solo Spider-Man film in 2017. The press release makes it obvious that this is just as much Sony’s baby as it is Marvel’s. Marvel President Kevin Feige is always mentioned in tandem with Sony producer Amy Pascal. This will be a co-production and they are not letting us forget it.
Tom Holland is a 19-year old English actor and has a few films under his belt. The only work I’ve “seen” him in was the 2014 Tom Hardy film, Locke. I say that I’ve “seen” him in that, because in reality you only hear his voice over the phone when speaking with Hardy. Holland learned his craft acting in with theater acting before moving over to film. He has received praise for his performance in 2012’s The Impossible, before portraying Peter Parker he will be seen later this year in Ron Howard’s Moby Dick film, In The Heart of the Sea.
Though Holland is an unknown name (especially compared to fellow Spidey-contender, Asa Butterfield), what is even more a mystery is the announced director, Jon Watts. Watts’ IMDb has a few credits listed, though they are all smaller independent passion projects. Feige had the following to say about Watts,
“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.”
At one point, it seemed pretty set in stone that Asa Butterfield was Spider-Man and Drew Goddard was going to direct, not anymore though. As Hollywood negotiates behind close doors it becomes more obvious that nothing is set in stone until it is officially announced. Though I had my own personal choices for what would make a good Spider-Man film (I am a HUGE Drew Goddard fan), I am happy that we are getting more Spider-Man and it is being done by Marvel. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 was horrendous, and it appears as though that film will be the Batman & Robin and this new Marvel Spider-Man will be Batman Begins.
Again, it has not been officially announced which film Spider-Man will appear in before the solo film, but everyone pretty much agrees that it will be Captain America: Civil War. With that in mind, you can see Tom Holland’s first portrayal of Peter Parker next May, followed by the Jon Watts directed Spider-Man film on July 28, 2017.