Marvel finally announced the face of their ‘Spider-Man’ reboot and while the actor, Tom Holland, seems like a nice kid — he’s not the web-slinging superhero any of us were hoping for.
Tom Holland, 19, is officially replacing Andrew Garfield, 31, and his predecessor, Tobey Maguire, 39, as Hollywood’s newest Spider-Man. While I’m sure he’s a great actor and Marvel is confident in their choice, it’s definitely the wrong one — and I’m ready to defend the built-in fandom that is feeling totally betrayed right now.
First and foremost I want to clarify that this is not a personal attack on actor Tom Holland. I’m sure he’s over the moon with excitement and it sucks that people like me are going to ruin his moment, so again I say: NOT an attack on Tom Holland. However, I’m not happy with the casting choice, nor have I been able to find anyone who is, and that is hands-down the studio’s fault. Not Tom’s.
Let’s start with the obvious, shall we? Although Tom is 19 years old, he looks young. Too young. Andrew may have been approaching his mid-30’s, but he could still easily pass for a high school/college student. Unless Peter Parker is going back to middle school in the reboot, I just can’t picture young Tom pulling off his nerdy-but-charismatic late teens persona.
Plus, while Tom’s IMDb proves that he knows how to work his way around a film set, he’s still unknown. Super unknown. As of the time this article was published, he only had 36k followers on Twitter. Putting someone that not a single person in the built-in Spider-Man fandom is familiar with in the role is terrifying. We can’t picture him in the suit, slinging web from building to building, and throwing major shade at villains. We can’t picture him winning over the love of his life, Mary Jane Watson, and we definitely can’t see him teaming up with the Avengers one day. It’s safe to assume that’s in the cards now that Marvel is behind the wheel, right?
Once it was announced that Marvel would be (unnecessarily) re-booting the Spider-Man franchise, more or less ripping the rug out from underneath the fantastic Andrew Garfield, there were multiple very loud conversations about who could wear the mask next. For starters, we had Teen Wolf star Dylan O’Brien. He’s slowly but surely making a name for himself in film, and he was an instant fan-favorite to take on the role. Then there was Asa Butterfield, who despite his similarly young looks, is another critically acclaimed young actor on the rise. And lest we forget Donald Glover, 31, who has been the fan-favorite to be the first black Spider-Man for years now.
What casting someone no one has ever heard of did is push their built-in fanbase away. Sure, the film will be a hit no matter what happens to the it from here on out, but the new generation of fans feel betrayed. Just take a look at Twitter right now: everyone from random fans to movie critics and journalists are calling Tom names like “fetus” and no one is expressing any excitement about the reboot. At all. It was a slap in the face to take Andrew out of the role, and now it’s a second slap in the face to find out our new Spider-Man isn’t even someone we were rooting for.
Not to mention, had someone like Dylan gotten the role instead, he would have brought an entirely new audience to the franchise. For example: the millions of squealing teenage girls who tune in to watch him on Teen Wolf every single week. We’re talking major fangirl action, with the potential to reach Twilight level craziness in Hall H the first year the reboot takes on Comic-Con. The same sort of madness applies for everyone’s new favorite heartthrob, Nat Wolff, who was also rumored to be in the running for the role.
In closing, as a longtime Marvel movie fan, I sincerely hope that Tom proves us all wrong. Like I said, he must be so excited, and I’m sure he’s looking forward to slapping our doubts away by slaying as the new Spider-Man. But I just can’t see it happening so, until then, I’ll believe it when I do see it.
What do YOU think, HollywoodLifers — Is Tom a great choice? Could a better, more fan-friendly choice have been made? Comment below with your thoughts!
— Lauren Cox