After a global search for talent, Sony Pictures and Marvel Studios have finally revealed the actor that will don the famous blue and red suit, as well as the director behind the camera.
19 year old Tom Holland from Surrey, England, has been chosen to portray the famous webslinger. It has been reported for months that Sony/Marvel wanted to find a younger actor to take on the role, so his age should come as no great surprise. The only other actors to play Spiderman in live-action, Tobey Maguire & Andrew Garfield, were both in their mid-twenties when they first took on the role, with Garfield last portraying the character at 28 years old and Maguire, 31.
Given Holland’s youthful appearance, it is possible that he could portray a considerably younger version of Spiderman; after all, if two men in their late 20s can pass as high-schoolers, 19 year-old, baby-faced Holland could easily pass for a 14 year old (but nobody wants to see that). It is also safe to guess that, despite being born and raised in the UK, Holland will most likely put on an American accent for the role, as the Peter Parker’s New York roots have always played a major role both on and off screen.
In a move that is extremely likely to be a huge mistake, the studios have chosen relative newcomer Jon Watts as the director. Watts has directed a grand total of 12 projects, which includes 3 short films with titles like Clay Pride and Jewish Santa is Coming, segments for satire news network The Onion, and a movie about a killer clown (very original, Jon). His most recent film, Cop Car starring Kevin Bacon, has a 7.9 rating on IMDb, and 77% on Rotten Tomatoes (out of 13 votes).
The new Spiderman film is due out in 2017, and will presumably be called Springtime for Spiderman, based on how the studio is treating it. However, we will first be introduced to our latest Arachno-boy in the hotly anticipated Captain America: Civil War.
As you may know, the last 3 Spiderman films have had “modest” box office takings (hundreds of millions, but nowhere near where they should have been), and were pretty much universally panned by critics and fans alike. It is disheartening to see Sony continue to select people who have no proven track-record (Holland has only had about 4 actual on-camera acting jobs), but now that they have finally caved and allowed Marvel to use Spiderman, perhaps the infinitely more experienced studio knows something we don’t. However, since Spiderman has joined the cast so late in the game, many are worried he will be shoehorned into the script.
Despite his abysmal box-office takings, Spiderman is still by far the biggest moneymaker in the superhero business due to merchandising. In 2013, he took in a cool $1.3 billion in retail, while second place went to Batman with a paltry $494 million.
All in all, while it is exciting to see the project develop, it looks quite possible that we may be forced to finished off the decade without seeing The Dark Knight of Spiderman.