The Movie Destined to Make or Break Tom Holland’s Career Outside the MCU

Tom Holland is most widely known for portraying Peter Parker in the MCU. As Tony Stark’s protege, and a young hero with an innate sense of innocence, an adolescent standard of trust, and an unwavering (often fool-hearted) degree of bravery, Holland excels. Whether it’s that sense of adventure fused into each word he utters or the youthfulness inherent to his movements and disposition, the Spider-Man role seems built for Holland. 

Tom Holland MCU Spider-Man
Tom Holland | Frazer Harrison/Getty Images

While Holland will continue to portray Peter Parker in the MCU, following Sony and Disney’s negotiation, it is his work outside the MCU that will define his career. The roles that will force the actor to go against type are destined to prove his competence.

In the upcoming years, Holland is set to star in Devil all the Time, Uncharted, Onward, Chaos Walking, Cherry, Spies in Disguise, and Dolittle. Of these movies, he will serve as a voice-actor for three of them. Others will be action-oriented and fall within the YA action realm. The one destined to push Holland, the role destined to be met with high expectations: Cherry. 

Cherry will demand the type of performance fans have never seen Holland give on the screen and, as a best-selling novel, people already have a defined image of what they want to see. 

Why ‘Cherry’ has the potential to make or break Tom Holland’s career outside the MCU

Cherry, based on the novel by the same name, tells the story of an army medic who — suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and coping with severe heroin addiction — resorts to bank robbery to clear his debt. 

An American best-seller written by Nico Walker, Cherry has been hailed as a literary triumph. Both tender and funny at once, the novel doesn’t resort to melancholy; rather, the author uses humor and sincerity to deliver his message. However, while humor is present, Tom Holland will still have to slip into the skin of a heroin-addicted bank robber — an army vet who likely feels forgotten by society, forgotten by the nation he worked to protect. 

Deemed “A raw coming-of-age story in reverse,” the novel “touches on some of the darkest chapters of recent American history,” according to the New York Times

This character — a stark departure from the fun-loving savior — will force Holland to stretch his acting muscles, force Holland to conjure the pain associated with addiction and the anger associated with lack, discovering the thought sequences that lead one to succumb to grand theft. 

Not only must Holland take on the most complex individual he has portrayed to date, but he must do so while paying homage to a character fans already know quite well, as the character has already been brought to life in the imaginations of millions. 

Equal parts humor, heart, and history, Cherry will ask Holland to become the Hollywood star fans want to see him become. With Anthony and Joe Russo directing — two individuals Holland has already grown comfortable with through the MCU — Holland may have his best shot at snagging his first Oscar nomination. However, if he fails to live up to the demand, he may find himself in action-oriented and animated tales for a while.