Sony and Marvel have found their Spider-Man.
Tom Holland, who had a great live-action debut (he previously voiced a character in the U.K. version of The Secret World of Arrietty) with J.A. Bayona’s The Impossible, is to star as the web-slinger in the new phase of Spidey outings.
The actor’s first appearance as Spider-Man will be in Captain America: Civil War, the Russo brothers’ second round with Cap after knocking it out of the park with Captain America: The Winter Soldier. Civil War is currently in production and is scheduled to hit the U.S. on May 6, 2016.
A bit over a year after Civil War hits cinemas, we’ll get our first solo Spider-Man film with Holland in the lead. Jon Watts, director of the Eli Roth-produced horror film Clown and the upcoming Kevin Bacon-starring thriller Cop Car, has been placed at the helm.
“It’s a big day here at Sony. Kevin [Feige, Marvel producer], Amy [Pascal, Sony producer] and their teams have done an incredible job,” Tom Rothman, Sony Pictures Motion Pictures Group Chairman, said in a statement.
“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.”
The decision to cast Holland came as a result of producers and studios being impressed by his performances in The Impossible, Wolf Hall, and the upcoming Ron Howard film In the Heart of the Sea. As part of the extensive casting process, Holland had to impress them all with a series of complex screen tests to ensure he was the right fit for the new Peter Parker.
“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,” Feige said in his statement.
Watts may not have a resume that screams ‘big studio director of blockbusters’, but prior to Winter Soldier the work from the Russo brothers had included You, Me & Dupree and episodes of Community; Marvel’s earned the trust when it comes to placing talent in front and behind the camera.
“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,” Pascal said in her statement.
“With Tom, we’ve found the perfect actor to bring Spider-Man’s story into the Marvel Cinematic Universe.”
Sony’s five Spidey films, starting with Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man back in 2002, have raked in over $4 billion worldwide.
Spider-Man’s next solo film is set for U.S. release on July 28, 2017.