Tom Holland Is Marvel’s New Spider-Man; Jon Watts to Direct Standalone Film

     June 23, 2015


Tom Holland has been cast as Marvel’s new Spider-Man.  He will make his first appearance in Captain America: Civil War, which is currently filming in Georgia and will open on May 6, 2016. Additionally, director Jon Watts (Cop Car) has been tapped to helm the standalone Spider-Man film, which opens July 28, 2017.

Holland has been in the running since mid-April, and was mentioned as a finalist with Asa Butterfield back in early May (Butterfield fell out of contention a couple weeks ago).  While other actors were reportedly screen testing for the role, Holland has felt like the safe bet for some time, and hopefully the actor will be a good fit.  In their press release, Marvel said they were impressed by not only Holland’s screen tests, but also his work in The Impossible, Wolf Hall, and the upcoming In the Heart of the Sea.

The real surprise is Watts, whose only other feature is the 2014 horror film Clown.  Perhaps I shouldn’t be so shocked since Watts’ name came up in the last report for the directors shortlistI saw Cop Car at Sundance earlier this year, and I wasn’t all that impressed.  The pacing was lethargic and the movie felt long even though it was less than 90 minutes. The movie does have kids in the lead roles, but those kids are pre-adolescents and Holland is 19.  But producers Kevin Feige, Amy Pascal, and studio execs liked Watts, so this is going to be a gigantic leap for him.  Here’s hoping he can pull it off.


Image via Magnolia Pictures

Here’s the full press release:

Sony Pictures and Marvel Studios Find Their ‘Spider-Man’ Star and Director

Tom Holland Cast as the Web-Slinger, Jon Watts to Direct the Next Spider-Man Adventure


Sony Pictures and Marvel Studios are proud to announce that after a full worldwide casting search, Tom Holland will play Peter Parker/Spider-Man in the next Spider-Man film, in theaters in IMAX and 3D on July 28, 2017.  The film will be directed by Jon Watts, director of “Cop Car,” the upcoming thriller that made its debut earlier this year at the Sundance Film Festival.


Marvel and Sony Pictures, and producers Kevin Feige and Amy Pascal conducted an extensive search for both the actor and the director.  The studios and producers were impressed by Holland’s performances in “The Impossible,” “Wolf Hall,” and the upcoming “In the Heart of the Sea,” and by a series of complex screen tests.  Following Marvel’s tradition of working with the brightest next wave of directors, Watts also went through multiple meetings with Feige, Pascal, and the studio, before winning the job.



Image via Sundance; Photo Credit: Chris Buongiorno

Commenting on the announcement, Tom Rothman, Sony Pictures Motion Pictures Group Chairman, said, “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.”

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.”


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.”


Sony Pictures will finance and release worldwide the next installment of the $4 billion Spider-Man franchise on July 28, 2017, in a film co-produced by Kevin Feige and his expert team at Marvel and Amy Pascal, who oversaw the franchise launch for the studio 13 years ago. Together, they will collaborate on a new creative direction for the Web-Slinger.


Spider-Man, embraced all over the world, is the most successful franchise in the history of Sony Pictures, with the five films having taken in more than $4 billion worldwide.

For more on Marvel’s search for Spider-Man and who will direct his solo movie (which opens on July 28, 2017), click on the links below:


Image via Sony Pictures

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