First there was Tobey Maguire, then there was Andrew Garfield, and next will be Tom Holland as the third actor tapped to play Peter Parker in a live-action adaptation of Marvel Comics' most popular character, Spider-Man. Before this new and younger version of high school-aged Peter Parker gets his own movie in summer 2017, the first of which is actually set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe - the same continuity as The Avengers - Holland will make an appearance beforehand in a Marvel movie.
We knew that much from the initial official announcement of the agreement between Sony Pictures and Disney-owned Marvel Studios that would see the studios work together to share characters, and there was only one movie that was applicable for his introduction: Captain America: Civil War.
Spider-Man plays an important role in the Civil War crossover event in Marvel Comics and we knew from leaked Sony emails in the fall that directors Anthony and Joe Russo wanted Spidey in their next Captain America movie, but at the time the deal wasn't going through. And because it didn't, Marvel unveiled their schedule of new release dates and titles (collectively dubbed "Phase 3") in October that didn't include Spider-Man even though Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige knew Spider-Man was always going to be part Phase 3.
So, as a surprise to no one who's been following these developments, Tom Holland's Peter Parker a.k.a. Spider-Man will in fact appear in Captain America: Civil War. We had heard descriptions of a Spider-Man costume and multiple reports of the shortlist of potential actors actually screen-testing as Parker on the Atlanta set of Civil War, and as confirmed yesterday in THR's cover story on Marvel's Ant-Man, Holland must "immediately" report to set. So far, any shots involving Spider-Man must have been made with a double or stunt actor wearing the costume. Holland is really just needed for the Peter Parker sequences.
Marvel has yet to confirm when and where Spider-Man will appear in the MCU, but they could be saving it for a San Diego Comic-Con reveal. Their film division will not be hosting a Hall H panel this year, but will still have a large presence on the TV and Comics sides with other panels and a large booth on the floor. They traditionally hand out concept art for upcoming films so it's possible we get a look at Spidey.
Why It Took So Long
What's more interesting is the lengthy and challenging process Marvel and Sony underwent to rush to find a director and star for the new Spider-Man reboot movie in 2017. Holland had appeared on multiple insider shortlists as a top contender but you might not know that the studios had looked at 1500+ actors for the part. That's a lot of young stars vying for a career-defining part.
Holland won out for his previous work in The Impossible and impressing Marvel with his auditions and athleticism (see below video from Holland's Instagram), but he also had to prove himself alongside The Avengers. Marvel casting director Sarah Finn, who's worked on everything from Iron Man and Guardians of the Galaxy to Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D., helped identify the top candidates and had them screen test at the end of May on the set of Civil War.