Despite being a universally loved movie star, I feel kinda sorry for Tom Holland right now. He’s caught in the middle of a gigantic corporate fracas that he has no say over the outcome of and which will have a big impact on his career.
Ever since the Spider-Man deal between Disney and Sony collapsed, fans have been analyzing his every word (and social media interaction) to try and work out how he’s feeling. And in an appearance at the Keystone Comic Con, folks were apparently discouraged from asking him what he thought of the deal. That seems to have been respected, though Holland did offer a conciliatory gesture to both companies in an answer to a fan’s question.
He was asked what differentiates his Spider-Man from Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield’s, and he responded thoughtfully and at length, saying:
“I was obviously much younger than Tobey and Andrew were. We really tried to hone in on the high school thing, and for us, we tried to make a film about a regular kid with irregular problems. And what makes our version of Peter Parker and Spider-Man so special is he’s like the most relatable superhero there’s ever been.
It’s hard to relate to Tony Stark because he’s a billionaire, Captain America’s a super soldier, Thor’s a god, but Peter Parker is just a kid from Queens. So making him this person that every single person in the room can relate to, and then what Jon Watts did so well is casting such a diverse group of people to play his best friends. Everyone in the world can relate to our movies in some way, shape or form. So it wasn’t just my doing that made it so different. It was the creatives at Sony, Marvel and Jon Watts.”
That cuts right to the heart of why Spider-Man is one of the most beloved superheroes around. Despite having fantastical Spider-based superpowers, we can relate to his problems in a way we simply can’t with other heroes. It’s the precise philosophy that Stan Lee had in mind when he first created the character, so knowing that the creative team behind Homecoming and Far From Home followed it explains why those movies worked so well.
But it is notable that he went out of his way to thank both Sony and Marvel for their creative input. As of right now, it appears that Spider-Man is indeed leaving the MCU for good. Holland apparently has an idea of where his take on the character is going next, but I think we can at least assume that he’s going to be meeting up with Tom Hardy’s Venom fairly soon. And honestly, that might be so much fun it’d make this whole rollercoaster ordeal worthwhile.