Plenty of superheroes have been portrayed by different actors over the years, but Spider-Man may hold the record for the highest frequency of reboots. Tobey Maguire donned the suit for Sam Raimi's Spider-Man in 2002, and returned to the role twice before the franchise was rebooted and Andrew Garfield became Peter Parker in 2012's The Amazing Spider-Man. Though Sony Pictures had high ambitions for Garfield's web-crawler to spawn a sprawling new franchise, he stuck around for just one more movie before the character was rebooted again - this time as part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, with newcomer Tom Holland making his debut in Captain America: Civil War.
Though Maguire and Garfield's respective tenures as the Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man may not have lasted long, they were both pretty beloved by audiences - Maguire portraying Peter as a shy, sensitive nerd, and Garfield winning the crowds over with his fast-talking delivery of one-liners and banter. Both performances were a tough act to follow for Holland, but he made the most of his scant screen time in Civil War, leaving Marvel fans clamoring for his upcoming solo movie - Spider-Man: Homecoming.
During our visit to the set of Spider-Man: Homecoming, producer Amy Pascal was asked how Holland's Spider-Man compares to the two previous actors. Naturally she wasn't keen to pick a favorite, but she did reiterate that for the MCU version of Peter Parker, Sony wanted a convincingly high school-aged actor.
"Well I love all my Spider-Men. And they all have different qualities that I think are really special. The thing that they all are is that they're all f---ing awesome actors. And each - whether it was Tobey [Maguire], or Andrew [Garfield] or Tom - they can act like crazy. And I think that's been a really important thing. I think youth was really important? We tried to find somebody who wasn't English, but, there you are... we wanted somebody who looked like Peter Parker. And somebody who we'd have empathy for. And who was trying really hard."
Holland certainly went all-out in his pursuit of the role, using his audition to show off his gymnastics skills. In the run-up to the casting announcement there were a lot of up-and-coming young actors on the shortlist for the role - including Nat Wolff, Asa Butterfield, Logan Lerman and Dylan O'Brien - but Pascal told us that Holland was a frontrunner from his very first audition.
"I think when we saw Tom and it was unanimous from everybody that he had it, and everything fell into place. There was a - believe me, what we put the poor boy through - Hell. And a lot of other boys, too, who were also good. But once you saw that thing on film, just... everybody knew it. And you know, that's the magic."
Spider-Man: Homecoming will show Holland's version of Peter Parker struggling to prove himself as a teenage superhero, while his mentor Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) tries to convince him to let grown-ups handle the serious fights. Peter's super-skills will be put to the test when he goes up against Vulture (Michael Keaton), a villain with mechanized wings and some seriously deadly weapons at his disposal.
Stay on Screen Rant for more news and interviews from our visit to the set of Spider-Man: Homecoming.
- Avengers: Infinity War / The Avengers 3 (2018) release date: Apr 27, 2018