‘Avengers: Endgame’ director calls Tom Holland the soul of the MCU

The events of Avengers: Endgame left a massive hole in the makeup of the Marvel Cinematic Universe after it brought the respective tenures of Robert Downey Jr.’s Iron Man and Chris Evans’ Captain America to a close, with the two stars acting as pillars of the entire franchise for a decade.

That’s not to say the shared superhero saga is struggling without them, but Tony Stark and Steve Rogers were directly connected and intrinsically tied to so many major plot developments throughout the Infinity Saga that replacing them is about as close to impossible as it gets.

However, speaking to GQ as part of a profile on Spider-Man star Tom Holland, Avengers: Infinity War and Endgame co-director Joe Russo lavished praise on the young actor, naming him as RDJ’s direct replacement as the focal point of the entire MCU.

“Tom is stepping into the role that Robert Downey once occupied for Marvel, which is the favorite character, and in a lot of ways the soul of the Marvel universe. He had a vulnerability and a wit, and an immense likability that felt to me like Peter Parker from the comics.”

Holland and Downey Jr. share the same relationship in real life as they did onscreen, so he may have been asking for a few pointers as his A-list status continues to solidify itself. Spider-Man has always been one of pop culture’s biggest icons, but that doesn’t mean there isn’t a ton of pressure on the 25 year-old’s shoulders when he wears the suit, something he’s been freely admitting in recent interviews.