How Long Will Tom Holland Be Spider-Man?
Spider-Man has endured a movie history almost as tangled as the webs he weaves. Not counting animated features or TV shows, three actors have played the web-slinger, with the movies seeing various degrees of success. We’ve seen the heights of Spider-Man 2 and the lows of The Amazing Spider-Man 2.
That’s why Tom Holland’s appearance in Captain America: Civil War seemed like such a breath of fresh air. For the first time, the character was being played by an actual teenager, as Holland was 19 when he was cast. That gave him an air of authenticity other actors could not provide.
Holland will be 23 years old by the time Spider-Man: Far From Home comes out this July, which begs the question: How long can he keep the role?
What is Tom Holland’s future as Spider-Man?
According to Den of Geek, Holland signed a six-film contract with Disney/Marvel. The films he’s already made under that contract are Captain: America: Civil War, Spider-Man: Homecoming, Avengers: Infinity War, Avengers: Endgame, and Spider-Man: Far From Home. That means he has only one film left on his contract. Marvel has not announced its Phase 4 movies yet, but it makes sense that at least one more solo Spider-Man film will be part of that puzzle.
Holland has certainly shown he’s game to continue the role, He was quoted in Screen Rant as saying “I definitely have the mindset of, if you want to make 20 of these movies, then I’m down because it’s really fun. It’s, it’s been a real privilege and so much fun. Maybe even more fun this time around than the last one. It’s been great.”
If Holland really does make that many films, he could end up playing Spider-Man until he’s 30-something, considering how long it takes to make those movies. He would probably stay through at least Phase 4 of Marvel, but that would likely involves new negotiations with Sony, which maintains the rights to the character.
Like we said, tangled.
How other Spider-Mans have fared
Although Spider-Man is arguably Marvel’s most popular character, it took quite a long time to get him to the movies. He did appear in a TV series in the 70s, where he was played by The Sound of Music’s Nicholas Hammond, but most fans prefer to forget about that.
James Cameron wrote a screenplay that never made it past the page. By the time X-Men truly made frequent superhero movies possible in 1999, the only sign of Spider-Man was a joke cameo on the X-Men set.
By 2002 however, Sony and director Sam Raimi finally cracked the character with Spider-Man in 2002, and the film became the first movie to gross more than $100 million in its opening weekend. Playing Spider-Man was Tobey Maguire, who was playing a high-schooler at age 27. Nevertheless, fans embraced him in the role, and many said 2004’s Spider-Man 2 was even better than the first.
However, Spider-Man 3 showed the first cracks in the franchise. Fans and critics alike agreed the movie was overstuffed with too many villains, and the emo Spider-Man scene was the target of much derision. Sony decided to reboot. It had worked for Batman.
The reboot series started in 2012, with Andrew Garfield in the lead of The Amazing Spider-Man, and at 29, he was even older than Maguire when he started. The reception of the film was mixed, but it did well enough to prompt a sequel in 2014.
That movie was regarded with even less praise. Few people blamed Garfield, who was seen as one of the best things about the new series, but the consensus was Amazing Spider-Man 2 represented everything wrong with franchise filmmaking. Once again, the character’s future in the movies was uncertain.
Fans kept clamoring for Marvel/Disney to take the reigns of Spider-Man, since Marvel had been doing right by their characters. That brings us full circle to Holland, who has been very well-received. His disappearance in Avengers: Infinity War was one of the highlights of that film and the feat was even more impressive, considering Holland ad-libbed his lines.
On top of all that, Sony did well even without Marvel’s help with last year’s animated Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. That movie exceeded most viewer’s expectations – so much so that it won the Best Animated Feature Oscar earlier this year.
Whether it’s live-action or animation, the future of Spider-Man seems once again secure. And Holland has ideas.
“Peter Parker is a character we see [in the comic books] as a 15-year-old boy and then as a 35-year-old man. So I have an idea of what I’d like to do, and I’ve pitched it and it’s already been taken into the boardroom. It would be really cool if it pans out, because it means I would be Spider-Man for a very long time.”