With his very memorable appearance in last year’s Captain America: Civil War, Tom Holland officially became Spider-Man. Next up for Holland is a starring role as Peter Parker/Spidey in the MCU movie Spider-Man: Homecoming slated for release in 2017. Of course Holland won’t be alone in Homecoming; the young actor will get plenty of support from heavyweight co-star Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark/Iron Man.
Marvel wants to guarantee that Holland’s Spider-Man takes off and pairing him with Downey is a great way to insure success. Holland himself is planning to solicit advice from a guy who knows all about playing Peter Parker and Spider-Man, and who has experienced some of the highs and lows of taking on such a popular comic book character.
Last week at the BAFTAs, there was a meeting of the Spider-Men on the red carpet, when Holland ran into his predecessor Andrew Garfield (via Moviefone). This was actually the first time Holland and Garfield met and it sounds like it was a very positive experience for both of them. Holland indicated he’s planning to get together with Garfield at some point in the future and pick up some pointers about playing Spider-Man:
“We met for the first time on the red carpet today. And it was really, really nice, actually. He’s a really, really lovely guy. He’s everything I hoped he’d be. He is a brilliant actor, too. I have always been a fan of his work. And I really look forward to picking his brains and seeing if he has any advice for me.”
Garfield played Spider-Man in a pair of movies, The Amazing Spider-Man and The Amazing Spider-Man 2, before Sony and Marvel struck a deal to bring Spidey into the MCU. Garfield has spoken before about his “struggles” playing the character, an experience he said left him “heartbroken.” Considering the feelings Garfield clearly has about his Spider-Man experience, he’ll no doubt have lots of interesting advice to give Tom Holland when the two finally get around to talking.
Some criticized the Garfield-era Spider-Man movies for steering the character in a direction that was a little too gritty and realistic, which could explain why the glimpses we’ve gotten of the Holland Spider-Man have tended toward the light and cartoonish. Holland’s performance in Civil War certainly hints that future Spider-Man movies will be more fun like the early Tobey Maguire films, and less intent on achieving a dark tone that arguably doesn’t work with the character. Making Parker a teenager and focusing on his high school life is an obvious step away from the gritty.
On the other hand, there is such a thing as going too light and too silly. Civil War was a good example of how a superhero movie can hit all sorts of different notes, integrating weightier material with stuff that seems totally over-the-top and “comic book.” Spider-Man’s fun appearance in Civil War was for a lot of people a highlight, and it seems we can look forward to more high-flying entertainment and humor when Spider-Man: Homecoming releases.