|Image Source: Crave Online|
Marvel Studios and Sony Pictures have this week revealed who'll be taking on the leading role in their impending revival of the Spider-Man film franchise as well as the director who'll take control of proceedings behind the cameras.
As announced earlier this year, Peter Parker's much-loved web-slinging alter-ego will swing his way into the Marvel Cinematic Universe in the near future via an appearance in next May's Captain America: Civil War and a subsequent standalone motion picture themed around the Webbed Wonder (the official title of which has yet to be officially announced, although The Spectacular Spider-Man and Spider-Man: The First Avenger are by far the most heavily rumoured candidates).
Yet for many, the matter of precisely when and where everyone's favourite wise-cracking protagonist would appear was of far less interest until now than the mystery of who'd take on the iconic red-and-blue mantle come 2016 and beyond. Enter Tom Holland, a British thespian whose past work has included performances in the likes of The Impossible (an Oscar-nominated 2013 motion picture which starred none other than Star Wars' Ewan McGregor), Wolf Hall (every episode of which is available to watch on BBC iPlayer now free of charge, or so we hear) and even Billy Elliot the Musical over on the West End. In terms of sheer cinematic prestige, Holland's rumoured competitors for this pivotal role such as Asa Butterfield - of Merlin and Ender's Game fame - could be argued as trumping him somewhat, but given that MCU head honcho Kevin Feige was directly involved in the overall casting proceedings, and given too that both Chris Evans and Robert Downey Jr. apparently tested alongside Holland so as to assess his viability for Civil War, chances are that those who're currently fretting over his suitability can rest relatively easy in the days to come.
What's more, we've also caught wind of the identity of Spider-Man: The New Avenger (as we'll henceforth refer to the film in question until we hear otherwise from an official source)'s helmsman, and suffice to say that like Holland, it's not a name that tonnes of the mainstream cinematic audience are going to be significantly familiar with. Once Jon Watts has wrapped up production on this much-discussed project, though, he'll likely have no problems finding work again, especially in light of the immense popularity of his previous visual texts such as Clown, Onion News Network and the soon-to-be released motion picture known as Cop Car. This writer can't confess to have experienced any of those aforementioned works for himself as of yet, but on the whole, those who're familiar with Watts' contribution to the entertainment industry so far appear to agree that he's as fine - if as presently minor - a candidate as anyone to take the helm here, thus allowing fans the world over to breathe a sigh of relief in the realisation that at this juncture, the entire franchise may well reside in safer hands than ever before.
True to form, Feige and company have already provided a range of comments regarding Holland's casting, Watts' appointment and the overall future of Spider-Man as a big-screen construct (or rather a faithful adaptation of a printed character, at the very least), and rather than forcing you to scour the interwebs in search of said quotations, dear reader, we've collated each and every one of those words below:
- KEVIN FEIGE (MARVEL STUDIOS PRESIDENT) ON WATTS' POTENTIAL - "As with James Gunn, Joss Whedon, and the Russo brothers [the talented directors behind Guardians of the Galaxy, Avengers Assemble and Captain America: The Winter Soldier respectively], 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."
- AMY PASCAL (EXECUTIVE PRODUCER) ON HOLLAND'S APPOINTMENT - "Sony, Marvel, Kevin 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. With Tom, we've found the perfect actor to bring Spider-Man's story into the Marvel Cinematic Universe."
- FEIGE ON POTENTIAL AVENGERS CROSSOVERS IN THE 2017 STANDALONE FILM - "Specifics of the [reboot's] story aside, the agreement that has been made between Sony and Marvel [details on which can be found right here] is that we could do that."
- FEIGE ON FUTURE SOLO SPIDER-MAN OUTINGS - "Well, we're [Marvel Studios] producing it for Sony. [...] [We're trying to] make the best version now of Spider-Man and a version [...] that inhabits this universe that we've created. We're in lockstep with Tom Rothman [the chairman of Sony's big-screen division] and Amy Pascal at every turn."
Tom Holland will make his début in the MCU as Spidey himself on May 6th, 2016 with the release of Captain America: Civil War, after which Spider-Man: The First Avenger will crawl up the nearest skyscraper and into cinemas worldwide on July 28th, 2017.