It seems like the third time really is the charm. Spider-Man: Homecoming might be the third take on the comic book wall-crawler, but the adaptation is already many fans' favorite with its combination of a strong villain in Michael Keaton's Vulture and a charming lead in Tom Holland. And it's not just the fans showing the love, either. The film's positive reviews from critics have helped Homecoming tie for top ranked superhero film on Rotten Tomatoes alongside Iron Man and Spider-Man 2.
Holland and Keaton aren't the only one who deserve credit for the success of the film. Much of what makes Homecoming great is the young cast and their chemistry together. Jacob Batalon stole the show as Ned Leeds, Peter Parker's best friend and "the man in the chair." Zendaya also provided great comic relief in her role as the smart and sarcastic Michelle. Seeing young actors play high school students is refreshing in a genre that often casts 30 somethings as 18 year olds.
Most of these actors were relatively unknown before being cast in Homecoming (other than Disney star Zendaya) which helped bond them together. After months of filming and promotions they've become a pretty tight knit group. Basically they're living out their best lives - and we've been blessed with their Instagram pictures documenting the whole thing.
It's time to take a look at the Spider Squad. Here are 15 Pictures That Prove The Homecoming Cast Are Squad Goals.
15 When They Hung Out On Set
Look at these fresh faced youths! Spider-Man: Homecoming started filming in mid July 2016 right around the time of San Diego Comic Con last year. Which means this photo was taken less than a month into production! It's so cute to see the actors together on set in their regular clothes. They look so normal; this could be any group of friends just hanging out.
The picture was posted by Harrison Osterfield, Holland's personal assistant and BFF. He was made an honorary member of the Spider Squad and even had a role as a PA on the film.
When the pictures first came out fans speculated that he might be playing legendary foe to Peter Parker, Harry Osborn. However, that turned out to just be wishful thinking (although there's always the sequel).
14 When Tom Taught Jacob and Harrison How To Do Ballet
Holland is not only a talented actor; he's also a gifted singer, dancer, and gymnast. He started his career in the title role of Billy Elliot at the age of 12 on London's West End. His training is one of the reasons he makes such a good Spider-Man. Not only can he do many of his own stunts, but his dancer's movements help the fluidity of his swinging when he's in the suit.
It's fun to see Holland share his love of dance with his co-stars and friends. He clearly has the talent for it. This isn't the only time it's happened, either.
He also appeared in a video posted by choreographer Deja Carter along with Zendaya, where the two actors took part in the Typo challenge. The video went viral and it's easy to see why; the camera clearly loves both of them and the fun they have together.
13 When Tom Copied Zendaya's Instagram Caption
One of the most important parts of any squad is the ability to make fun of each other. Holland and Zendaya have that down, constantly poking fun at each other whether on Instagram or Twitter. When Zendaya posted a photo with the caption, "Stealing hearts since '96", Holland has to respond with a cheeky caption of his own.
The two actor's friendly banter is probably one of the many reasons they have been rumored to be dating. Again, they jokingly took to twitter to deny the claims, but not without making fun of each other (and the reports) first.
It's nice to see two young people who don't take their social media too seriously and who are able to have some fun along the way (while keeping fans guessing about their relationship status). It's also a good reminder that guys and girls can be just friends sometimes.
12 When They Went Out To Breakfast
Is there a better way to kick off the start of filming in Atlanta than by going out to breakfast in the southern institution that is the Waffle House? Probably not. The cast gathered together in early July to eat waffles and celebrate one year until the film's release. Laura Harrier, who plays Liz, posted the original picture and also posted it again recently to mark the film's release.
It's a super cute moment, especially when you realize how much has changed for all of the actors since then. (For proof just look at how many more likes the newer photo got than the first one.) This image marks the beginning of the journey; the start of the emerging friendships. It's easy to see from this photo how much chemistry the squad had from the very beginning.
11 When The Boys Took Advantage Of Their Time In Singapore
If you look at the social media pages of Holland, Batalon, and Osterfield, you can see just how much time the three spent together both on and off set. It makes sense; Ned and Peter share a lot of screentime in the film, meaning the actors had the most time to bond. The trio even came up with a name for their little posse: The Holy Trinity, which appears in a number of captions of their photos together.
When you think about it, it's kind of amazing how much Batalon's life imitates art. Ned Leeds is an average high schooler who finds out his best friend is a superhero. Batalon had one previous role before he was cast in Homecoming. Suddenly he found himself in a Marvel film, hanging out with Holland, and traveling the world seeing amazing places like the gorgeous Singapore hotel pictured above.
It's a great story and Batalon seems to be having the time of his life with his new BFFs.
10 When They Survived Press Junkets Together
Doing press junkets for a film can be exhausting for even the most seasoned of Hollywood veterans. Stars spend long days speaking to journalists, promoting their film, and answering the same questions over and over again.
Luckily the Spider Squad was able to get through their press junkets together, while still having a little fun in the process. The actors all seem genuinely excited to talk about Homecoming and what makes this Spider-Man film stand out from all the rest.
After many of the premieres and interviews the actors took to social media to express their gratitude. They are all quick to acknowledge how lucky they are to have this experience. It's so nice to see such a positive, appreciative group of young people who genuinely enjoy spending time together.
9 When Michael Keaton Lent A Hand On The Red Carpet
You really can't go wrong when Batman himself is part of your squad. Keaton's Adrian Toomes, aka the Vulture, was one of the strongest parts Homecoming. He brought a grounded approach to the character and gave him clear motivations - namely protecting and providing for his daughter. His story parallels Peter's as he struggles to balance his life as an ordinary man with his extraordinary powers (of his own invention).
Despite his star power, Keaton isn't above lending a hand on the red carpet. During the film's premiere he was a true team player, helping Zendaya with the long train of her gorgeous custom Ralph & Russo gown.
The fact that he looks so laid back and comfortable just makes the picture even better. He is clearly fine with letting his younger co-stars shine.
8 When RDJ Palled Around With Tom
Holland, Batalon, and Osterfield weren't the only legendary trio on the Homecoming set. Of course, the lead trio (or "Killer trio" according to the photo's caption) was comprised of Robert Downey Jr. (Tony Stark/Iron Man), Jon Favreau (Happy Hogan), and Holland. The actors have spent a lot of time together between their scenes in Captain America: Civil War and the upcoming Avengers: Infinity War.
Downey Jr. is not shy in his praise for the young actor. He declared that Holland was the "perfect choice" to play Spider-Man because of his enthusiasm and physicality. Holland returned the favor by calling the veteran actor the "Godfather" of the MCU and "a great guy to be around."
It seems that their mentor/mentee relationship extends past just what we see on screen.
7 When The Cast Knew Each Other Super Well
There's really no other way to put this: the Homecoming cast is ridiculously charming. During one of the press junkets Zendaya, Haller, and Batalon were in one room and were asked how they thought Holland (who was in another room) would answer certain questions. They nailed every single answer, all while poking fun at their friend. Sure, we knew Holland could sing, but this video reveals his fondness for golf and '90s rap music (as well as bank robbing).
The best part, however, is Holland's reaction. He can't stop expressing his love for his fellow cast members and his surprise at how well they know him. This is a cast that seems like they will stay tight long after the cameras stop rolling and the press tours end. If that's not friendship goals, then what is?
6 When Zendaya and Laura Officially Became Women of Marvel
For a while the only woman with a major role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe was Scarlett Johansson as Natasha Romanoff, aka the Black Widow. And while Marvel's first female led superhero film Captain Marvel won't be released until 2019, the studio is making strides, especially with the Women of Wakanda in the upcoming Black Panther film. Thor: Ragnarok will also be the first MCU film to feature a female villain with Cate Blanchett's Hela.
When the Women of Marvel assembled together after the Hall H panel at San Diego Comic Con 2016, it was a big moment for both fans and the actresses themselves. The group included many of the women from the previous and upcoming Marvel films, including Zendaya and Harrier.
The young actresses were included not just in the Marvel family, but as part of a group of powerful females who will serve as role models for generations to come.
5 When They Posed Like The Breakfast Club
Director John Watts was able to put together the perfect combination of '80s nostalgia, high school drama, and super heroics that make Homecoming so successful. It's no secret that some of this inspiration comes from John Hughes' films, especially Ferris Bueller's Day Off and The Breakfast Club. Because of this the cast has drawn many comparisons to the classic '80s gang.
This hasn't gone unnoticed by the Spider Squad. They've taken up The Breakfast Club pose on a number of occasions, including their first Entertainment Weekly shoot and on their last day of filming. There have even been fun retro posters recreating the classic '80s image.
The kids are clearly proud at the comparisons their film is drawing and not afraid to celebrate the actors who played high schoolers before them.
4 When They Were Introduced At Comic Con 2016
For geeks there is no place more hallowed than Hall H at San Diego Comic Con. Every year the hall is home to the biggest announcements, trailers, and surprises in pop culture. Some diehard fans even line up overnight hoping to get a glimpse of what's next for the studio juggernaut. Marvel's presence in Hall H is one of the most anticipated parts of the con and 2016 was no exception.
2016 saw the first time the Homecoming cast was assembled together on stage. There, fans saw early footage of Holland as Peter Parker just trying to get through a day in high school. The energy in the room and the crowds of the con itself is enough to humble any star. It was another moment that reminded the young cast that they had officially made it as actors in the Marvel Universe.
3 When They Visited A Children's Hospital
The best squads aren't the ones who just have fun together, but those who use their star power for good. Holland, Zendaya, and Batalon did just that when they visited the New York Presbyterian Hospital with help from the Lollipop Theater organization. Holland also took time to visit hospitals in Atlanta and Los Angeles, showing off his Spidey skills and brightening patient's days.
Holland stays in character the entire time, talking to the kids as Spider-Man. It's touching how clearly all the actors are affected by their time interacting with these sick kids and how excited they are to be able to help. They join a long list of Marvel actors, including Chrises Evans and Pratt, who use their superpowers off screen to support charities and those in need.
2 When Tom and Zendaya Crushed It on Lip Sync Battle
We said we knew Holland could sing and dance, but we didn't know he could sing and dance like that. Holland and Zendaya blew fans away when they appeared on a special episode of Spike's Lip Sync Battle. Zendaya rocked Bruno Mars' "24K Magic" with her immense personality and swagger, but Holland stole the show bv syncing and dancing along to Rihanna's "Umbrella" - complete with fishnets, stiletto heels, and a rain effect.
Lip Sync Battle proved the actors were down for pretty much anything, as well as confirmed their serious talent. The videos of both performances took the internet by storm. The actors reactions to each other's performances were also the best part.
Zendaya and Holland both couldn't stop laughing while also remaining in awe of their competition. Can the next Spider-Man film please feature musical numbers? It won't be like the Spider-Man 3 emo dance!
1 When They Added Stan Lee To the Squad
The caption of this photo says it all: Stan the Man. There's no one you want to have in your squad more than the man who started it all; Stan Lee. Holland and Osterfield weren't the only lucky cast members to pose with the legend, though. Batalon and Tony Revolori (Flash Thompson) also hung out with Lee backstage at Comic Con. This Spidey Squad rolls deep.
Lee is a big fan of Holland's as well. He praised the actor, saying that seeing Holland was like his creation had come to life. There is pretty much no bigger compliment for an actor than to have the of the character creator approve your performance.
Phase 3 is already shaping up to be one of Marvel's biggest and most successful yet and Spider-Man looks to play a big role in the future of the franchise.
Share your favorite pictures of the Spider-Man: Homecoming squad in the comments!