Tom Holland Is the New Spider-Man, Jon Watts to Direct Film

Tom Holland Spiderman
Courtesy of Sony/Getty Images

Marvel and Sony have found their Peter Parker.

“The Impossible” actor Tom Holland is set to play the web-slinging superhero in the next “Spider-Man” franchise. Jon Watts (“Cop Car”) will direct the film.

“I’ve worked with a number of up-and-coming directors who have gone on to be superstars and believe that Jon is just such an outstanding talent,” Tom Rothman, Sony Pictures Motion Pictures Group chairman, said in a press release. “For Spidey himself, we saw many terrific young actors, but Tom’s screen tests were special. All in all, we are off to a roaring start.”

The actor is first expected to make an appearance in “Captain America: Civil War” in order to properly introduce him into the Marvel film universe, with standalone films to follow on July 28, 2017.

Sony announced a new partnership with Marvel Studios in February that would bring the popular superhero into the Marvel universe.

Former Sony co-chairman Amy Pascal is producing along with Kevin Feige.

The search for who would star in and direct the next installment in the “Spider-Man” series has been a long and interesting one. This was a rare case where execs met with actors and directors at the same time to see who fit the bill.

Rumors had been spreading for months about what direction the new franchise would be taking and whether the studio would cast an unknown actor as its star or find a more established name. They were also deciding whether to hire a young teen or someone a little older who could still pull off being a teen for the next several years.

Feige made it clear that he wanted Peter Parker to become his alter ego while he was still in high school. Sony and Marvel were therefore initially targeting actors between the ages of 14-18.

After underwhelming meetings with unknowns, the search was widened to boys who had somewhat of a proven track record, even at a young age. Asa Butterfield, Charlie Rowe and Matthew Lintz were among the contenders. The studio has been flying them out to Atlanta, where Marvel is filming “Captain America: Civil War,” over the last month to have them test with the actors they would be starring opposite.

Spider-Man is only expected to have a cameo in “Captain America: Civil War,” so there wasn’t a rush to make a decision since the thesp would only be shooting for about a week.

At the same time, meetings were also held with directors that included “St. Vincent” helmer Ted Melfi, “Warm Bodies'” Jonathan Levine, “Vacation’s” John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein. Not only were these filmmakers who directed films on the comedic side, they were also helmers who directing younger actors with positive results.

Over the last two weeks, the decision was made to cut the list down to Levine, Watts and Melfi for director, and Holland and Rowe for the role of Spider-Man. Sources did not reveal the exact reason why Sony and Marvel chose Holland but as for Watts sources are now saying over the past ten days Levine and Melfi became frustrated with the process and worried this may carry over to the production and pulled themselves out allowing Watts to move in and land the job.

Holland was an established name who not only held his own alongside Ewan McGreggor and Naomi Watts in “The Impossible,” but became the film’s breakout star. He’s also at an age that allows him to play the role of a teenager for years to come. Insiders said that at the end of the day, the studio could not afford to run into problems revolving around child labor laws that restrict the lengths of shoots.

As for Watts, while he wasn’t quite as well known as the other directors, his recent work on the film “Cop Car” earned him rave reviews at Sundance. The movie also showed his ability to get the most out of teenage actors.

Holland is repped by WME and can be seen next in “In the Heart of the Sea” opposite Chris Hemsworth. Watts is repped by CAA and attorney Greg Slewett.

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  1. amazing says:

    ……….wow….another white spiderman….shocking…………………….so glad that they’re sticking with peter parker……after having five other movies about him………….revolutionary……

  2. mjdee33 says:

    wish they would stop changing actors for these movies, no good..

  3. Coach L. says:

    So what’s the new title? “Howdy Doody becomes Spidey Guy?”

  4. RichM says:

    Amazing 2 was a hated mess. Let that fade away before making another. Is spider-man going to be just thrown into the now over stuffed MARVEL Universe or are we going to be told his backstory for a 3rd! time. Why is spider-man making a cameo in Captain America Civil War-OH that right! to sell a new spider-man movie!

    • John H. says:

      Spider-Man actually played a fairly key role in the Civil War storyline in the comics. It’s odd that his role will only be a cameo in the film version – obviously they are changing things up quite a bit.

  5. Kronos says:

    Wow.. this will FAIL!.. People are done with Spiderman reboots… especially this being the 3rd in the last 13 years.. SPOILER ALERT…Peter Parker gets bitten by a radio active spider as a teen.. Gets spiderlike abilities..gets greedy for money and fails to prevent his Uncle’s death..learns “with great power comes great responsibility”..Uses his new powers to fight crime.. Works as a part-time photographer for a newspaper with a jerk for a boss..Has a crush on Mary Jane Watson…trying to juggle his Peter Parker life with his Spiderman life…Fights characters like…Venom, Green Goblin (His best friend’s dad) Rhino, Green Goblin again (his best friend turned evil)..Doctor Octopus…Vulture…Electro… Sandman…Lizard (happens to be Peter’s professor)…

    I just saved you all $10 dollars or 15 if you wanted to see it in 3D on an IMAX Screen….

    You are all welcome….

  6. lariza says:

    These Spiderman just get uglier & uglier!!

  7. Cue superhero fatigue, brought on sooner by a boring recast and reboot. That’s ok though, Disney and WB both need a wakeup call that our pockets aren’t bottomless, and when you go for quantity over quality it causes movie goers to pick a little smarter. In this case I’m considering the use of Peter Parker as a poor quality issue. Let him go and show us something new with Spidey

  8. filmsharks says:

    You’ve got to be kidding. What a terrible choice.

  9. Markajv says:

    I will not be paying to see this. Really Hollywood?? A third reboot of Spiderman? Where is the imagination? Remakes of great movies made into crap movies (Poltergeist. Carrie.Friday the 13th, etc…) Aldo taking foreign movies and TV shows that were amazing in their original form and remaking them into dumbed down horrible entertainment. I’d rather pay to see the original. Seriously you better start hiring and funding people with imagination and new ideas I am tired of paying $11 for crap.

  10. macd says:

    It’s a shame that not enough people saw “The Impossible”, one of the few truly outstanding movies of recent years in which Tom Holland’s performance alone required repeated viewings. And as much as I abhor comic book reboots and happily skipped Maguire’s and Garfield’s “spidermen”, I’ll certainly check out Holland’s spiderman–and any other movie this extraordinary young actor appears in. He is THAT good!!!

  11. Jack says:

    Very early on they said they were going for Parker, so I’m not surprised nor upset. I do look forward to Miles Morales on the big screen, though.

  12. thatmovieyousee says:

    Reblogged this on That Movie You See.

  13. jedijones77 says:

    Geez, what is with the searches for the least experienced, most unknown and most unproven director out there to helm the biggest franchises around? One has to assume these no-name directors are doing even less actual directing than Richard Marquand did on Return of the Jedi.

  14. Micah Carey says:

    Another limey???? can’t they find an American actor.

  15. dandrews1138 says:

    Seriously? They’re rebooting again? They never even got to Mary Jane in the latest run. This is getting a bit ridiculous…

  16. RichM says:

    Spidey needs a rest. Tobi was great but the Amazing Spider man was not very good and I never bothered to watch the follow up. I use to go to see all the superhero movies but I have not watched one after Iron Man 3 (It was terrible). The whole genre has become very stale and Hollywood is content to suck it dry until no one cares anymore. When you start making movies about ant-man and dr. strange you have really sucked the well dry. Give Spidey a nice decade off and watch people will come back to see him.

    • Greg says:

      You nailed it. Do we really have to get all worked up over the third Spider-Man in 12 years? After 5 films that peaked with the second one? The series isn’t the least bit exciting anymore. You’re right – they need to give it a rest.

    • Jose says:

      Great, yet another pretentious, but uninformed and idiotic comment. Spidey is Marvel’s Superman. OF COURSE they’ve gonna milk him. He brings a ****load of money, and they’d be dumb to not continue it. Plus, you’re talking about MARVEL themselves making those films, not simply Hollywood. Those are their properties, they can do what they want with them. This isn’t some third party Hollywood studio who obtained rights to make these films, then screw them up, just like with how Sony did with the previous Spidey films. God I hate idiots like you who say the same exact stupid bull**** on every news article.

      • RichM says:

        Just look at the money these movies are making. They keep dropping from the last one. I guess you are content for them to keep making crap if it means that you get a movie. The rest of us would rather wait for a good spidey movie. Milking something until no one cares is not a good thing.

  17. Donna says:

    He was so good in “The Impossible”. So talented good for him.

  18. Fabio says:

    WE. DO. NOT. NEED. A. NEW. SPIDERMAN!!!!!! STOP MAKING SUPERHERO MOVIES!!!!!

  19. Peter Parker says:

    Best Spiderman, Tobey Maquire hands down, I’m done with Spiderman…unless Maquire comes back…Hayden Christensen would be a great choice for runners up…he was great in Jumper…

  20. Alex says:

    thats all well and good, just don’t make the outfit obviously made by a team of designers.. I liked the spider suit that felt like the kid made it.. They got it kinda right in amazing spidey, but botched it to look exactly like Maguires suit but even more cheesy.. Sometimes you need to go with what works for the film not just to please a few fanboys.. More time was spent on effects and suits then refining a terrible script.. Let’s face it, every comic book movie so far made a screen version of the comic book suit, let’s make one for him too.. That’s my 2 cents! Thank you!

  21. Huge says:

    Holy moley, I can’t stop staring at that chin

  22. Mike84 says:

    I’m so happy for Tom. Great choice for the new Spider-man role.

  23. Douglas says:

    I think he’s more pro Alfred MAD.

  24. Deanne David says:

    Tom Holland is so cute and very appealing and such a good child actor in the movie “The Impossible” he stole every scene, he can make you cry. I knew it, this kid will grown up to be a very attractive man!
    I love his mole in the face so sexy, his smile, his manly appeal, and his strong voice!

  25. Normandy says:

    Garfield was so awful-a 30 year old teen? Heres hoping they get it right!!

  26. Greg Stefan says:

    Does anyone actually care at this point??

  27. Bill B. says:

    Oh please. Give this thing a rest. Other than future 7 or 8 year olds who were too young to see the last re-boot, how can anyone be interested in seeing this same story yet again?!

  28. Steve Jay says:

    They just keep getting younger. And yet ANOTHER remake of a remake of a remake. Gah. Stop already! Be happy with just one and let it go! T. Maquire nailed it and it just needs to stop!

  29. Harold says:

    Thank god it’s tom! He was amazing in the impossible

    • Richard says:

      STOP with the STOP . So you are tired of superhero movies and Spidey in particular..then don’t go see them but complaining about it is getting ridiculous Stop making Bond movies they have been rebooted and recast and made by competing studios. Stop making all genres …Rom-Coms Comedies Historical dramas or whatever genre you are tired of …well it ain’t going to happen till it does. If you are a SPIDERMAN fan third reboot or not you are going to be super excited to see what Marvel does with their flagship character .

    • Greg Stefan says:

      It’s never going to stop because these superhero movie make billions and morons keep flocking to the theater to see em

      • Herewe Goagain says:

        Morons.

        And Kids. (and if you want to talk about money… their parents).

        Sure it isn’t the most original thing, but Spider-Man is HUGE with kids. Don’t want to see it? Cool, don’t see it, I am sure that Marvel, and Sony will be just fine – not to mention glad you won’t go online afterwards and poorly review a movie that clearly isn’t aimed at you. And if you are the kind of person who reviews movies before you’ve seen them, then feel free to stop reading this…

        Kids will still want to see it, and that doesn’t make them morons. No one gets mad that Marvel releases… *gasp* a new Spider-Man comic every month (How unoriginal!! Why not invent a new hero for every issue of every comic ever – screw evolving mythologies, screw letting new artists and fresh story tellers have their crack at a character that, at his core, has proven to be popular with generation after generation – surely it is just laziness and greed – also can you believe they still make Sesame Street episodes? Moron Kids. They should demand fresh new muppet shows, instead of this stale old rehashing of “Learning the Alphabet”)…

        The bond movies were cool, then they definitely weren’t… until they were again. But if they stopped making them, we’d never have gotten “Casino Royal” (2006), if they gave up on Batman, we’d never have gotten “The Dark Knight”. The point is not that people have stumbled in the past, the point is that these characters, are – at their CORE, interesting and universally relevant, so we should all be hoping that a new team of creatives can come in and help us remember how great that character is. How poignant their point of view can be…

        Also, have you not seen a blockbuster in the last decade? Have you not watched one on HBO? Are you really leading me to believe you are so “hip” that you haven’t seen a Spider-Man movie in years? and if so, what qualifies you to say only morons watch them… if you, yourself haven’t seen it – the most you should feel comfortable saying is that you haven’t seen it. And if you have seen them … well… come on – you just… called yourself a moron… right?

        Also, believe it or not, if Marvel/Sony hadn’t decided to try and pull Spider-Man back into relevance… do you think they would have given their hundreds of millions to make “Safety Not Guaranteed 2?” And even if they did, wouldn’t you complain about the director of that movie having gone on to “sell out” and make what is quickly becoming one of the most profitable movies of all time?

        Blockbusters, and overly intellectual films that cater to “people who call other people morons” are two different things. And yes, there are other super-heroes and I am excited to see those movies too, but that doesn’t mean I am going to hold 5 movies produced by a different team against a movie… that isn’t even shooting yet. Im not nearly that pompous.

        At the end of the day the thing I am tired of seeing over and over again – is comments like this. You know what is actually lazy? Cynicism about something you have no effect on.

        You can do better? By all means, try to make it in Hollywood. Who knows, maybe you are the next James Cameron (a truck driver who said, screw it I can do better… and did! Although, ironically, now he makes the kind of movies you probably decide to hate before they are even written).

        If you want to comment on this, lets compare the actors and directors and have an actually, fairly intelligent conversation about their resumes and what you think this means for the franchise, rather than calling a company stupid for turing a profit and children morons for liking a character who at the end of the day teaches them they should strive to do good even if there is no reward.

  30. Responder says:

    Tobey Maguire rules.

  31. I wish him luck in the role but i can’t help but wonder what the Marvel universe would’ve been like had the two studios come together a bit sooner. Spider-Man 3 aside i thought Maguire was perfect in the role.

    Garfield wasn’t bad but both he and Maguire had some awful, AWFUL comedic scenes.
    I know Spidey is funny and has some great one liners but enough of the stupid dance numbers and extra cheesy humor. Save that for the TMNT.

  32. Derek W Shakespeare says:

    Many congratulations to young Tom Holland, an actor whose career I’ve been following for a while now.Great to see emerging talent such as this being given such an opportunity to shine.

  33. He is such a pimply, ugly, nerdy runt! What a horrible choice! I swear Marvel wants to piss off the Spiderman fandom. And anyway, how many times do they have to redo Spiderman? To me, the original Tobey Maguire ones were the best. It looks like it’s going way down from now on. I won’t be watching these new ones, that’s for sure. Way to ruin a great superhero, Marvel.

    • Jose says:

      He’s based on Ultimate Spider-Man, who fits the bill, you dumb ****.

    • cadavra says:

      Peter Parker is supposed to be a pimply, ugly, nerdy runt. A much better choice than Garfield, who in real life would’ve been banging the entire cheerleader squad and the hot algebra teacher.

    • Mel says:

      Did you ever read the original Spider-man comics, about a pimply, ugly, nerd? Also, there’s a hyphen in Spider-man, dummy.

      • He might fit the “Peter Parker” part but explain to me how that pimply, ugly, nerdy scrawny runt is going to actually play the ‘other’ part of a tall, athletic, muscular Spiderman? Are they going to use lousy CGI for his body and then put his ugly head on top?

  34. charlesamiller says:

    HOW MANY TIMES does Spiderman have to be rebooted???

    • Niko says:

      Answer: They’re NOT. This particular rendition of Spidey is based off of Ultimate Spider-Man, in which he was still in high school, and was basically the complete opposite of what you said in terms of physique – scrawny and still a dweeb. He’s SUPPOSED to be an ugly nerd.

    • Alex says:

      I’m not arguing with you on this, just wanted to point out that Tobie M. Is about 5 feet tall..

    • doc ock says:

      Ask James Bond.

  35. Bitlington says:

    Source?

  36. Chelsea says:

    Yay, this is great good casting choice.

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