Is Peter Parker the "Spectacular Spider-Man" or is he "The New Avenger"? Rumors would have you believe that both are possible titles for the second attempted reboot of the live-action feature film franchise reboot of Marvel Comics' most beloved character.
Tobey Maguire played the web-slinger in three films directed by Sam Raimi for Sony and then Andrew Garfield had the chance to play him in two more for Marc Webb, and now for their third attempt - this time partnering with Marvel Studios to fit the Spider-Man franchise into the Marvel Cinematic Universe - they're going younger on the casting front. Remember, the plan is to have Peter Parker in high school for a while. And we know who's playing him.
Tom Holland is the new Peter Parker and he's going to be for a very, very long time. Marvel and Sony Pictures have finally made it official, announcing the 19 year-old British actor - the youngest Peter Parker actor to date - as the first person to play Spider-Man within the Marvel Cinematic Universe. While not yet official, the character will (likely) first appear in Captain America: Civil War in May 2016 before getting his own solo film in July 2017. The solo Spider-Man movie will be directed by Jon Watts who's earning recognition for his film Cop Car (trailer below) which debuted at this year's Sundance Film Festival.
Update (June 25 2015): Spider-Man is confirmed for Captain America: Civil War.
Marvel Studios president of production and overseer of the MCU, Kevin Feige, explains the director choice as another example of Marvel looking for something new and different.
"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."
Sony Pictures boss Tom Rothman adds:
"It’s a big day here at Sony. Kevin, Amy and their teams have done an incredible job. 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."
And Amy Pascal, previous Sony Pictures head, and now producer on the new Spider-Man venture alongside Kevin Feige also compliments their actor selection:
"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. With Tom, we’ve found the perfect actor to bring Spider-Man’s story into the Marvel Cinematic Universe."
Holland comes from a dance performance background and brings the needed athleticism (see below) to play Spider-Man. He earned spotlight attention for his performance in The Impossible and we're hearing good things about his role in Ron Howard's In the Heart of the Sea. Holland was listed earlier this month as a fruntrunner against Charlie Plummer and Matthew Lintz (after Asa Butterfield dropped out of contention), but we had heard at the time it was actually down to Holland and fellow English actor Charlie Rowe, with Holland being the favorite.
Holland shared the following videos via Instagram earlier this week, perhaps in early celebration of his new gig: