MCU Fans Are Ready to See Tom Holland’s Spider-Man ‘Grow Up’

Normally when people tell someone to “grow up,” it’s not a compliment. But in the weird and wild world of Marvel fandom, it might actually be a  compliment when it comes to Spider-Man

The two Marvel Cinematic Universe standalone Spider-Man movies so far have focused on a high-school related setting, befitting the character’s origins as a teenager. Now, some fans would like to see the character mature, although there’s also the sense that maybe Sony and Marvel shouldn’t hurry the process. 

How old were the Spider-Man actors?

Tom Holland smiling
Tom Holland | Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images

One of the reasons Tom Holland has been so well-liked is that he comes across like the teenager Spider-Man was in his original 1960s comics. In fact, Holland was a teenager when he got the part in 2015 – he turned 19 that year. Although he’s the age of a recent college graduate now, his youthful features still make him pass convincingly as a high school student. 

By contrast, Tobey Maguire, who played Spider-Man in the three movies directed by Sam Raimi, was 27 when his first Spider-Man movie came out, even though he was playing a high school student himself. Although an argument could be made that Maguire too, has a babyface, on a Reddit thread one fan said, “Holland is actually believable in age and in demeanor of a high school student. He’s not 30 damn years old like Tobey Maguire was.”

Then there was Andrew Garfield, who played the web-slinger in the two Amazing Spider-Man movies. He was 29 when the first movie came out, making him the oldest of the Sony Spider-Man players when he started. He too began as a high school student, but his movies made the least use of a high school setting. 

Why do fans want Spider-Man to mature?

Given that Garfield’s Spider-Man played older, fans were ready for a change when the MCU took over the character. Now that Holland has played an awkward teenager in Spider-Man: Homecoming and Spider-Man: Far from Home, some fans are ready for the character to age up again. 

One fan on Reddit said, “Yes, Homecoming was great and FFH was good but honestly, I’m seriously ready for Spider-Man to be done with field trips and be done with high school. I get it, he was the kid of the group. But now he’s a centerpiece of the franchise. He needs to be growing up and having concerns beyond high school.”

Another fan responded, “We’ll get there. The great part is that Tom Holland is so passionate about the character that I’m sure he’d like to be Peter that long to see him that far. When you debut a character, or a Spider-Man still in high school you have the opportunity to see his story for years and years. We really don’t need to rush into it.”

How long will Tom Holland be Spider-Man?

One of the reasons fans have taken to Holland so much is his boundless enthusiasm. Even when it looked like Spider-Man might leave the MCU last year, Holland stayed positive, assuring fans the character was in good hands no matter what studio was controlling the story. In fact, some reports said Holland himself was instrumental in mending fences between Disney and Sony. 

There seems to be some unwritten rule in Hollywood that every franchise has to be a trilogy. If Holland makes only a trilogy, then he could conceivably not have much of a chance to grow with Spider-Man. However, Holland has also said he could see himself playing the character for a long time. 

CinemaBlend quoted the actor as saying, “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.”