The casting news Marvel fans have been waiting for is finally here. The new Spider-Man will be played by a 19-year-old British actor named Tom Holland. With only a handful of credits to his name, Holland is a mostly unexpected choice, especially after a round of rumors spread that Asa Butterfield would likely win the part.
Holland got his start playing Billy Elliot on stage after a choreographer saw the young actor's potential when he was about 10. Critics first noticed him as he played Naomi Watts' son in The Impossible. More recently he's appeared in How I Live Now and Locke, and he's slated to appear in In the Heart of the Sea later this year. In a press release, Sony's Amy Pascal had glowing words for the actor.
"Sony, Marvel, Kevin [Feige] 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," Pascal said. "With Tom, we’ve found the perfect actor to bring Spider-Man’s story into the Marvel Cinematic Universe."
Holland is expected to make his first appearance as Peter Parker in Captain America: Civil War next summer, but after that he'll be getting his own movie, co-produced by both Marvel and Sony, July 28, 2017. Marvel also announced Tuesday that up-and-coming director Jon Watts will helm that movie after impressing studio heads and critics alike with his latest feature, Cop Car.
Marvel head Kevin Feige had this to say about him: "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."