The last time we saw Tom Holland’s Spider-Man, he was vanishing into dust as he pleaded with Tony Stark not to let him go. It was a gut-wrenching moment in which we saw not a superhero, but a frightened kid who wasn’t sure about his fate. If fans hadn’t been convinced of Holland’s fittingness for the role of Spidey yet, that scene did it.
Actually, the last time we saw Holland’s Spidey was in the recently released trailer for Spider-Man: Far From Home, his second solo movie. He was alive and well, hanging out with Aunt May, Nick Fury, and Maria Hill. He’s traveling across Europe with his friends over summer vacation, determined to take a break from being a superhero. But then he runs into trouble when Jake Gyllenhaal’s Mysterio shows up to disrupt his fun.
Despite all this excitement, everyone’s most burning question wasn’t about the European vacation or Gyllenhaal’s villain, it was: Why the heck is Spider-Man so alive? We’ll just have to wait until Avengers: Endgame (which is now just a couple of months away!) to get an answer on that one. In the meantime, here are 20 Things Only True Fans Know About Tom Holland’s Spider-Man!
20 Tom Holland Spoiled Infinity War For An Entire Theater
A theater full of moviegoers were eagerly waiting to see Avengers: Infinity War last summer when Tom Holland dropped in to promote the movie. The first thing he said was, “I’m alive!” These people hadn’t seen the movie yet – they were just about to and Holland spoiled the big twist ending, at least the part involving his own character.
Marvel execs have since given up on keeping Holland from revealing spoilers and instead used his habit as a marketing tool. For example, they revealed the title of Spider-Man: Far From Home in a very tongue-in-cheek way – they had Holland ‘accidentally’ reveal it in an Instagram video and then waited for fans to notice.
19 He Doesn't Go To A Regular High School
While previous incarnations of Peter Parker have attended a regular high school – one that’s more accessible to mainstream audiences – Tom Holland’s version is a little more realistic in that he goes to a science-based school called the Midtown School of Science and Technology. Peter’s a kid genius – he goes to a school for kid geniuses.
Holland even spent a few days at the Bronx High School of Science in preparation for the role. The Midtown School of Science and Technology is the same school that Peter goes to in the comics. Previous movie adaptations have watered down the highly academic nature of Peter’s school to make him more relatable, which does make sense. But it’s nice to see a movie that’s faithful to the comics, too.
18 His Solo Movies Are Based Off Of Harry Potter
Producer Kevin Feige has said that Tom Holland’s series of solo Spider-Man movies will be inspired by the Harry Potter franchise in the way the stories are told. Those movies followed Harry in each successive year of his education at Hogwarts until he graduated (and also had his final battle with He Who Must Not Be Named), while Holland’s three contracted Spider-Man solo movies will follow him through three years of high school.
Homecoming was set during his sophomore year (which is cheating a little bit, because it skips freshman year – Harry Potter never did that), while Far From Home will be set in his junior year, with the third and final movie in his trilogy being set in his senior year.
17 Flash Thompson Is Very Different In The Comics
In the comic books, Flash Thompson is the big, scary, mean bully who plays football and gets all the chicks and picks on Peter Parker. He was played as a typical tough-guy jock bully by Joe Manganiello in Spider-Man and Chris Zylka in The Amazing Spider-Man.
However, in Tom Holland’s Spider-Man movies, The Grand Budapest Hotel’s Tony Revolori plays Flash as just as much of a nerd as Peter. Because they attend a science-specific high school, he’s still the alpha-dog bully and he still constantly bullies Peter, but it’s much more playful and less threatening. He’s an intellectual threat, not a physical one. In this sense, he’s a much funnier and more original character.
16 He Was Never Gone For Good
Spider-Man is alive and well in the Far From Home trailer, and Marvel has confirmed that it takes place after Avengers: Endgame, so you don’t have to be a genius to figure out he’s not really dead after all following Thanos’ finger-snap. Or at the very least, we know he’ll be resurrected in Endgame.
But anyone with their ear to the ground on the MCU knows this already. There have been sequels announced for Black Panther, Doctor Strange, and Guardians of the Galaxy. And even if that’s all just smoke and mirrors by Marvel to get you to hold out hope, there’s absolutely no way Disney would let all those hot properties go to waste right after they made it into the mainstream.
15 Holland's Spidey Is Built Off His Relationships With Other Characters
MCU overlord Kevin Feige has said that, since Tom Holland’s Spidey is the first big-screen webslinger who can interact with other Marvel heroes, that’s what his character is based on. He said they have these questions in mind: “Does he want to be like these other characters? Does he want nothing to do with these other characters? How does that impact his experience, being this grounded but super powerful hero?”
That’s not only what sets this Spider-Man apart from the other big-screen Spider-Men of the past – it’s what sets him apart from the rest of the heroes in the MCU, too. And it’s also what makes him so important to the franchise – he’s the audience’s way in.
14 Holland Is The Most Age-Appropriate Spider-Man Yet
Spider-Man is supposed to be a teenage kid – that’s how he’s depicted in the comics. But Tobey Maguire was 27 when he first played Peter Parker, and Andrew Garfield was 29. It was always pretty absurd watching a fifteen-year-old kid make excuses to his aunt about why he was out past his curfew when he was six feet tall and had a five o’clock shadow.
Tom Holland has been the most age-appropriate Spidey yet, because he was 20 when he first played Peter Parker in Captain America: Civil War. It’s the ideal balance between having a Peter Parker who looks like Peter Parker and avoiding the awkward working hours and insurance issues raised from using a minor in a big-budget movie. The casting is perfect, age-wise.
13 But Holland Is Aging At A Rapid Rate
It’s tough to do a movie franchise about a kid, because these movies take a long time to make and so these franchises could go on for ten years – and kids grow up quickly. Warner Bros. had to race to make the Harry Potter movies in time, and by the end, Daniel Radcliffe looked about thirty years old. The kids in Stranger Things had become unrecognizable by season 2.
The same thing is happening with Tom Holland. He’ll be 23 years old next summer when Spider-Man: Far From Home is released, and in that movie, he’s supposed to be in his junior year of high school. Marvel can’t keep this up forever.
12 There's A Reason Holland's Aunt May Is So Young
Marisa Tomei was offended when she found out the role Marvel had given her is typically played by an old lady – but her version of Aunt May is supposed to be young. Every actress who has played Aunt May in the past has been super old. But that’s not realistic. Peter’s supposed to be fifteen years old – why would his aunt be over half a century older than him?
Stephen McFeely, the co-writer of Captain America: Civil War, said that the MCU’s Spidey would be “as naturalistic as possible...That’s partly why his aunt isn’t eighty years old. If she’s the sister of his dead mother, why does she have to be two generations ahead?” It’s a good point, and it’s a wonder why this is the first time it’s been picked up.
11 He Might Fight Tom Hardy's Venom
Sony’s Venom movie starring Tom Hardy was a surprise hit at the box office last year, so the studio is looking to expand the franchise. The rights that Sony and Marvel share make the whole thing very complicated – especially if Sony’s Spider-verse was ever going to come into contact with Marvel’s Avengers-verse.
That’s why Venom director Ruben Fleischer was so vague about it when he was asked if Tom Holland’s Spider-Man was ever going to face off against Tom Hardy’s Venom – but he does enjoy the prospect: “Any true fan of Venom would love to see him go against Spider-Man. So, I have to think that’s gonna happen at some point.”
10 Holland Wants Doctor Octopus And Venom In The MCU
When Tom Holland was asked which villains from Spider-Man’s rogues gallery he’d like to battle in future movies, he said, “Oh, well, I love Doc Ock. I think [Sam Raimi’s] Spider-Man 2 is one of the greatest superhero movies ever made. But I think Venom is someone I’d love to kick the crap out of one day.”
If Tom Holland wants it and Ruben Fleischer wants it and Sony and Marvel want it, then maybe there’s a way to make the Spidey/Venom movie work. As for Doc Ock, it would be hard to top Alfred Molina’s fantastic performance in Spider-Man 2 – he combined classic mustache-twirling villainy with genuine pathos. But someone must be up to the task.
9 He Plays Along As Spider-Man For His Young Fans
Kids don’t know the difference between real life and what they see in movies, so when they see someone like Chris Hemsworth on the street, they think it’s Thor. The same goes for Tom Holland and he loves when young fans come up to him on the street.
He said, “The best is when they actually believe I’m Spider-Man, and they ask me how the webs work, and I have to say, ‘Oh, I don’t have the suit on and blah blah blah.’ That, for me, is one of the best things about being Spider-Man...convincing little kids that I can actually do all that stuff.” He even puts on the American accent and says, “Hi, I’m Peter, nice to meet you.”
8 He Improvised His Big Infinity War Scene
Not much was written into the script for Tom Holland’s final scene in Avengers: Infinity War, so the young actor had to ad-lib it. After Thanos snapped his fingers and everyone started disappearing, very few of our Marvel heroes sold their mysterious ends to us in a dramatic way. Most of them made sarcastic quips as they turned to dust, like Samuel L. Jackson beginning his signature curse word before being cut off.
But Spider-Man’s disappearance was different. Holland sold the terror of the uncertainty of his fate. Suddenly, he’s not a superhero in a costume anymore – he’s just a kid who’s scared. And he improvised the whole thing from one line of script.
7 Robert Downey, Jr. Coached Him Through It
It seems that Robert Downey, Jr. is a mentor to Tom Holland in the art of acting much in the same way that Tony Stark is a mentor to Peter Parker in the art of being a superhero. According to the Russo brothers, the script for Spidey’s last scene in Infinity War wasn’t as drawn-out as it is in the final cut. Let’s face it: they had a lot of death scenes to get through. But Downey felt Holland could do more with it.
According to Anthony Russo on the movie’s commentary track, “At the end of the day, [Downey] kept driving: put more and more emotion into it, and just went up to Tom and said, ‘You don’t want to go because you’re a child. And you’re using your strength as Spider-Man to fight this.’ And then that was the performance that came out.”
6 Tom Holland Wasn't Allowed To Read The Infinity War Script
Due to his penchant for leaking secrets about Marvel’s movies, Tom Holland was not allowed to read the full script for Avengers: Infinity War. He only got his own scenes so he could learn his own lines. The producers only gave him the pages that were absolutely necessary to the making of the movie, because he can’t seem to help himself from spoiling plot details.
Despite these measures, Holland still manages to get spoilers out there. It’s gotten to the point where interviewers try to get Holland to spill the beans and the studio has had to hire a publicist to vet interviewers’ questions and answer for him if he’s unsure on what he can and can’t say.
5 The Spidey Suit Is Inspired By Steve Ditko's Designs
Stan Lee didn’t create Spider-Man on his own. He had some help from Steve Ditko. Both of them sadly passed away last year, but their work is immortal. According to Joe Russo, the Spider-Man suit that Tom Holland wears is inspired by the earliest designs of the character by the legendary comic book artist, but taken a few steps further.
Russo explained, “We like making strong choices with characters, so while this might be a slightly more traditional, Steve Ditko-influenced suit, it is certainly in our vocabulary to develop it into something more extreme as the storytelling requires. I think there are things that people will discover when they see [Captain America: Civil War] about why the suit operates the way it does, why the eyes move – all that stuff is substantiated.”
4 Peter Parker Has A Father In Tony Stark
While the relationship between Peter Parker and Tony Stark begins as a mentor-mentee relationship that is strictly professional, it has evolved into a father-son type bond as they’ve grown closer and had more emotional scenes together.
Tom Holland explained, “I think we’re seeing the beginning of a sort of father-son relationship. Obviously, Tony hasn’t got any kids, and Peter, at this point, hasn’t got any male figures in his life, so I think there’s a really lovely dynamic that Robert [Downey, Jr.] and I are forming...There is that level of him caring about him like his own, and Robert has really brought something lovely to the character. It’s a very different side of Stark than you’ve ever seen before.”
3 Spider-Man Changed Civil War's Tone
The Russo brothers’ first movie in the MCU was Captain America: The Winter Soldier, which started them on the road to taking over the franchise from Joss Whedon. After that movie’s tremendous success, the brothers were hired back to do Captain America: Civil War – a.k.a. Avengers 2.5 – and they’ve since directed two actual Avengers movies.
Their Marvel movies have gotten slightly lighter and zanier since The Winter Soldier, and Anthony Russo accredits this to the introduction of Spider-Man: “It’s a very specific tonal world. It’s a little more grounded and a little more hardcore contemporary. That was also coloring our choices a lot about the character on Spider-Man.”
2 He Won't Say "With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility"
When an interviewer tried to get Tom Holland to say, “With great power comes great responsibility,” the actor simply replied, “That’s Tobey [Maguire]’s line, not my line.” So, don’t expect Holland’s Spidey to utter the iconic quote any time soon. With any luck, he’ll be given a new quote that becomes just as iconic and memorable.
To be fair, the quote is often attributed to Uncle Ben and Uncle Ben is already gone in Holland’s Spidey series. But it’s not actually Ben who said it in the original comic book – in fact, he only has two lines of dialogue in the whole thing. It was Sam Raimi’s 2002 Spider-Man movie that made everyone think it was Uncle Ben who said it.
1 Holland Says Spider-Man Is The Most Grounded Hero In The MCU
When asked what was important to him about the portrayal of Spider-Man in the MCU, Tom Holland said, “I mean, the whole aspect of keeping him grounded and making sure the audience sees a kid as a superhero [was important]. We’ve seen the sort of Norse god, we’ve seen the billionaire, we’ve seen the soldier – now, we get to see the kid.”
He has a point that Spidey is the closest thing to a normal, relatable, real person in the Avengers. He’s never been to war, he’s not rich, he isn’t a scientist, he didn’t come from some other dimension where he’s magical royalty – he’s just a kid from Queens who happens to have the powers of a spider.