Why Tom Holland Owes Chris Hemsworth For His ‘Spider-Man’ Role

Tom Holland and Chris Hemsworth don’t interact much, if at all, in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, despite starring together in the all-superhero-star Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers Endgame. All the same, Holland paid off a debt of gratitude to Hemsworth because the God of Thunder helped the web-slinger into the MCU in the first place. 

Marvel tapped Holland to make his debut as Spider-Man in Captain America: Civil War, a film in which Thor did not appear at all. Nevertheless, the actors had worked together on a previous film, and Hemsworth put in a good word with the powers that be that Holland would make a good Spider-Man.

How Chris Hemsworth brought Tom Holland in the MCU

Tom Holland (L) and Chris Hemsworth (R)
Tom Holland (L) and Chris Hemsworth (R) | Alberto Alcocer/Getty Images

It may seem surprising that Marvel Studios started their cinematic universe without Spider-Man, one of their best-known characters, but they had the rights to Thor while Sony had the rights to Spider-Man. Thor appeared in two standalone movies and two Avengers movies before Sony and Disney collaborated on the deal that would bring the webhead over to the MCU playground. 

Hemsworth, as the saying goes, knew a guy. He had worked with Holland on the Ron Howard film In the Heart of the Sea in 2015. The movie was based on true events that inspired the literary classic Moby Dick, about a sailor who obsessively hunts for a monstrous whale. 

Hemsworth had the lead role of Owen Chase, an experienced whaler who is passed over for a captain’s commission, while Holland plays a novice cabin boy who lives to tell the tale of the doomed voyage years later when he’s played by Brendan Gleeson. 

The movie didn’t make much of a splash at the box office, but the talented Holland stuck in Hemsworth’s  memory. Hemsworth told Entertainment Tonight: “I did what I could do and made a call and said he’s one of the most talented people I’ve worked with and has such a big heart and appreciation … we have a great friendship, it’s a good mutual respect..”

Upon hearing this, Holland gratefully responded: “Aw, did he? Well, he’s my hero in life.”

Chris Hemsworth and Tom Holland finally get together again

Ironically enough, when Holland finally appears in Captain: America Civil War, Hemsworth is nowhere to be seen. While Team Iron Man (with Spider-Man) and Team Captain America were duking it out, Thor was off-world in the events that would lead up to Thor: Ragnarok. In Infinity War, Spider-Man spent most of his time with Iron Man, Doctor Strange and the Guardians of the Galaxy before falling victim to Thanos’ snap. So Spider-Man is absent for most of Avengers: Endgame while Thor is licking his wounds for his failure to kill Thanos.

However, Hemsworth and Holland finally did reunite, after a fashion, when Hemsworth started promoting Men in Black: International, which was distributed by Sony. Holland’s not in that movie, but he did interview Hemsworth about the sci-fi comedy sequel. 

Marvel stars tend to goof off a lot on press events, even if they’re not in the same movie together, and this interview was about as serious as an Ant-Man movie. Sample question and answer:

Hemsworth: Tom, who’s your favorite actor in the whole world?

Holland: Liam Hemsworth is up there, man, he’s great.

It’s a short interview, lasting less than three minutes, but one could argue it’s a more entertaining second than any second in the 115 minutes of Men in Black International.

Will Tom Holland and Chris Hemsworth work together again? 

Alas, Holland and Hemsworth are not scheduled to work together again, according to their IMDB pages. Holland will act with MCU castmates again in the animated Spies in Disguise, where Holland provides a voice along with Karen Gillan and Ben Mendelsohn. Meanwhile, Hemsworth will appear in Kevin Smith’s Jay and Silent Bob reboot.

It’s hard to imagine how Thor and Spider-Man might get together in the MCU. When we last saw Thor, he was joining the Guardians of the Galaxy, while Spider-Man is quite literally wrestling with his identity in Spider-Man: Far From Home. That makes a pairing seem unlikely, but in a universe where a god of thunder can get a beer belly, anything is possible. 

If nothing else, a Twitter user makes a very entertaining suggestion that the pair would be ideal for a live-action Hercules remake on opposite ends of the title role.