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How Tom Holland Found Out He Was Cast As Spider-Man

When word broke that the Spider-Man franchise was being rebooted for a third time in under two decades, some fans had their doubts about the newest actor to don the Spidey suit. Those concerns quickly vanished when Tom Holland made his debut as Peter Parker in Captain America: Civil War. As the charming young Brit swung into the film's signature fight scene, fans were enthralled — and went on to watch Holland throughout four more films as he juggled high school worries and the life of a superhero, navigated first loves, and found a mentor in Robert Downey Jr.'s Tony Stark. 

Throughout two of his own films — Spider-Man: Homecoming and Spider-Man: Far From Home, as well as a pair of intense Avengers installments (the box office smashes Infinity War and Endgame) — Holland has proven to be the perfect Peter, with some even calling him the best actor to play the role yet. However, before Holland became the friendly neighborhood web-slinger, he had a relatively modest start on the Hollywood scene, and it feels likely that just a few years ago Holland never thought he'd be headlining some of the biggest films of 2019 — and in history

Here's how Holland found out he got the role of Spider-Man.

What made Tom Holland perfect for the Spider-Man role?

In the aftermath of Andrew Garfield's two-film reboot, Sony placed Spider-Man on loan to Disney and Marvel in a deal struck in 2015. This meant one very exciting thing: Spider-Man could finally be a part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. At the time, it was confirmed that Garfield was no longer playing the hero, which was a smart decision since keeping him in the suit might not have made for a smooth transition. Thus, top Marvel brass went hunting for their next Spidey.

Apparently, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige and filmmakers Joe and Anthony Russo (responsible for Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Captain America: Civil War, Avengers: Infinity War, and Avengers: Endgame) were looking for a particularly athletic type to play Peter Parker in Civil War and beyond, and Holland's physical prowess caught their eye when they saw the 2012 tsunami film The Impossible. As Joe Russo told Entertainment Weekly in the build-up to Civil War, "We did two screen tests with the character. We were pretty vocal about who we wanted for the part. He's fantastic. Amazing. It's like Christian Bale in Empire of the Sun. Rarely do you see a kid carry a movie [The Impossible] like that."

The trio didn't just want a talented young actor with a muscular build — they also wanted someone who could move smoothly and fluidly, as well as someone who could convincingly pull off a high school persona. Joe Russo said Holland checked all the boxes: "He's also a dancer and a gymnast. He fits the part like you can't believe. Another thing that we were really pushing for was to go young with the part. It's the only way to differentiate it from what's been done in the past."

The hilarious way Tom Holland learned he'd be the new Spidey

When Feige and the Russos settled on Holland as the new Spider-Man, the actor found out he booked the role of a lifetime in maybe the most millennial way possible: through Instagram. During an appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show in 2017, Holland explained that before he officially got the call, he saw that Marvel had posted on social media that studio executives had chosen the new Spider-Man... six full weeks after he had completed his audition process. 

Apparently, by the time Feige actually got to Holland to deliver the good news, the young star had some choice words for him. As Holland told DeGeneres, "Kevin Feige finally rang me and said, 'I've got some great news, you're gonna be Spider-Man.' And I was like, 'I know, Kevin. You put it on Instagram.' Like, I'm 20, do you really think I'm not going to find it?" 

Perhaps Feige was afraid Holland might have spoiled the announcement if he rang him too soon. After all, the young star has since become so infamous for accidentally dropping spoilers during interviews that he was banned from reading complete scripts for projects like Avengers: Endgame

What has Tom Holland's journey as Spider-Man been like?

At the end of the day, Holland can rest easy, having achieved international stardom at such a young age. However, his journey as Spider-Man hasn't been without strife. After five films in the MCU, Spider-Man's future was forever changed with the announcement that Sony and Disney were ultimately unable to reach a financial accord while renegotiating terms of their original deal — meaning he can no longer appear in any Marvel properties and Sony will retain full ownership of Spider-Man. 

As far as the Russos are concerned, they're certainly sad to see their amazing Spider-Man find leave the MCU pack, but Holland is maintaining a healthy sense of optimism going forward — and is still contracted to play Peter Parker for at least a couple more films at Sony. If Holland feels good about the future, audiences can too. Still, it remains to be seen what might happen with Spider-Man next, and we can all only hope the character remains in Holland's capable hands.