One of the most high-profile casting searches in Hollywood history has reportedly come to a close today, with The Hollywood Reporter revealing that Marvel and Sony have settled on The Impossible actor Tom Holland to play Spider-Man in Sony-made solo pics as well as installments of the Marvel Cinematic Universe – including next year’s Captain America: Civil War.
Additionally, Jon Watts, who made a splashy Sundance debut earlier this year with Cop Car, has come out of nowhere to snatch the directing gig on Sony’s 2017 stand-alone Spider-Man pic away from the likes of Warm Bodies‘ Jonathan Levine and Vacation filmmakers John Francis Daley & Jonathan M. Goldstein. Deadline adds that Levine and St. Vincent helmer Ted Melfi removed themselves from consideration last week.
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Tom Rothman, Sony Pictures Motion Pictures Group chairman, confirmed the news, saying:
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.
Marvel head honcho Kevin Feige commented:
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’s Amy Pascal added:
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.
The decision comes in the aftermath of intense test-screening in Atlanta late last month and early this month, which saw Holland compete for the role against Ender’s Game star Asa Butterfield (a long-time frontrunner for the part), Judah Lewis (in this fall’s Demolition), Matthew Lintz (this summer’s Pixels), Charlie Plummer (a Boardwalk Empire alum who was said to be Marvel’s top pick for the role) and Charlie Rowe (Fox’s Red Band Society).
A report two weeks back said that Holland was Sony’s choice for the role, but Marvel was less than convinced. It appears that the screen tests cemented his lock on the role.
Casting the role of Spider-Man has been a huge deal for Sony, which is rebooting its webslinger franchise in the wake of The Amazing Spider-Man 2‘s disappointing grosses and disheartening reviews, and for Marvel, which will have to stick with the actor throughout at least one phase of its cinematic universe.
The new reboot, which will come in 2017, finds Peter Parker in high school, learning to harness his powers while dealing with the pressures of teenage life. Marvel and Sony’s films will make a point of keeping the wall-crawler in high school for more than just one film, so as to fully explore an area of the character’s life glazed over by Sony’s past takes, which both saw Parker graduate within one or two films.
First, though, Holland will debut as Spider-Man in Captain America: Civil War, which is due out May 6 next year. We’ll certainly know much more about the character’s look and backstory prior to that – so stay tuned to We Got This Covered, as we’ll bring you the latest as we have it.
In the meantime, sound off below. Is Holland the right choice to play everyone’s favorite friendly neighborhood Spider-Man?