There’s a lot of pressure on Tom Holland’s young shoulders, which comes with the territory when you’ve spent half a decade playing one of the most iconic characters on the planet in the most successful franchise the film industry has ever seen.
Those expectations have increased exponentially the closer we get to Spider-Man: No Way Home, with the actor’s third solo outing the most heavily-hyped blockbuster this side of Avengers: Endgame. Throw in chatter that another trilogy is already in development, not to mention his presumed participation in the Sony side of things, and you can understand why he’s been keen to try and stem the tide of speculation.
Former MCU alumni Joe Russo recently opined that Holland had stepped into the breach vacated by Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark to become the soul of the entire Marvel Cinematic Universe, and the 25 year-old responded to those lofty claims in an interview with Josh Wilding.
“I mean, I wouldn’t necessarily say that I’m the face of the universe. I know that fans are really supportive and have responded massively to this franchise. I’m honored that Joe thinks that. But, the beautiful thing about the MCU is, whoever is the leader, if there ever is a leader again, you’re never alone. You have so many people that you can rely on and lean on, and people that I’ve now worked with for years and years. So, I don’t necessarily feel those pressures, but should I feel those pressures, then yes, I’ll call Downey and ask, yeah. I called him the other day for a piece of advice, and he was very kind.”
Nobody can ever replicate what RDJ brought to the MCU, with his performance as Iron Man setting the stage for the unprecedented success that followed. It’s fitting that Holland’s Spider-Man would be positioned as the spiritual successor to his on and offscreen mentor, though, even if he’s playing down his newfound reputation as one of the saga’s heaviest and most important hitters.