Why the New Spider-Man Casting Matters


Last week Marvel and Sony officially announced their groundbreaking decision to introduce actor Tom Holland into the MCU (Marvel Cinematic Universe) as Peter Parker/Spider-Man. The casting process took several months and over 500 potential actors until they chose Holland. Naturally, I was disgusted by the backlash this news had in the general media. Many outlets expressed concerns of yet another incarnation of the webslinger, or the fact that he was too young (and many even claiming him to be too white). Let’s have a little blog intervention here, helping to explain why exactly this news matters – as many are clearly numb to the idea. There are 4 major reasons that I’ll be discussing in the following editorial, and you can scroll through them at your whim.

1) The Amazing Spider-Man movies were terrible. I really shouldn’t have to explain this area. The series was riddled with flaws. Every single villain was connected to Peter’s father or OsCorp in some fashion, the films were littered with plotholes, Andrew Garfield’s ever changing New York accent, and never have any two characters had less chemistry together on camera than Peter Parker and Harry Osborn. These are, of course, my personal complaints, and other critics (far harsher ones) will present lists of issues they had with the series. It just never captured the magic like Sam Raimi’s original trilogy. To this day, Spider-Man 2 is considered one of the best superhero films on the market. Even head Marvel Producer Kevin Feige agrees with that.

It was clear from the offset that Sony’s primary drive with originally rebooting their hit franchise was to contractually keep their paws on it, without giving much heed to quality control. And after the huge success of the Avengers’ shared universe, Sony actually planned to expand their franchise into a cinematic universe, starting with Sinister Six film. I think we’re all very happy that’s no longer happening.

The Spider-Man franchise was dying from the inside out due to re-used plot elements, stale villains, and nothing notably new. A big shake-up was necessary.

2) Tom Holland is really young. Like, really young. The british actor is only 19 years of age, making him the youngest hero in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Why is this important? Because they’re actually making him a high school kid again, as per his comic book origins. He shouldn’t look like a 28 year old man playing a 17 year old teen. This is hugely important, not only for Spider-Man, but for casting just about anywhere. How many shows or movies have you seen where a high school student is clearly portrayed by an adult? Teens can act too! Give them the chance to. Holland’s casting should honestly be praised. He’ll be able to play the character for a longer period of time as well, as he’ll age far less than other characters cast.

And sure, Tom Holland being 19 is perhaps a year too old when it comes to American high school casting, but the general ballpark age is still there, and it’s noted. For once we’re actually going to have someone who looks like the Peter Parker of our comics, age and all.

3) Spider-Man is coming to the MCU! As great as Marvel’s Cinematic Universe is, the absence of the company’s biggest and most profitable character was a sore spot. Now we can finally include our friendly neighborhood Spider-Man in all the fun. This could never have happened with Tobey Maguire’s portrayal of the webslinger, and the direction the Amazing Spider-Man films were headed just didn’t work with the evolution of the MCU. It would never have felt genuine.

Sony and Marvel needed to work together from the ground up to come up with a new iteration of the character that fit seemlessly with the superhero strewn New York cityscape they already have going on. And they have. We’ll most likely see Spider-Man show up in several MCU films, beginning with Captain America: Civil War next year, but he’ll get his own film in 2017, directed by Jon Watts. Marvel’s guiding hand should lead the character to new heights.

And Tom Holland has already worked with Robert Downey Jr. while screentesting for the role. According to some reports it was his chemistry with the older actor that ensured him the role. If you can keep up with Downey, and can impress both Sony and Marvel, you’ve got the in. And that’s exciting.

This also allows Marvel characters not directly related to the Spider-Man franchise the ability to interact within the Sony-produced Spider-Man movies. And any Spider-Man characters not directly related to the outside Marvel universe (including villains) are now optional and viable villains for other MCU films or shows. So much to love on this front.

4) Tom Holland is already Spider-Man. Seriously. Have you seen some of the parkour/gymnastic stunts the guy is capable of? He can feasibly do his own stunts, and likely will do some, although Marvel and Sony will undoubtedly cast stuntmen to aid him. Check out some of his Instagram videos below, a good tease at our young new Spider-Man:

Love this place!!!!

A video posted by ✌️ (@tomholland2013) on

Messing around at lunch. Learnt a new trick. Great day today. @stanley_weber @jonnybernthal

A video posted by ✌️ (@tomholland2013) on

Never done this on a tree before.

A video posted by ✌️ (@tomholland2013) on


A video posted by ✌️ (@tomholland2013) on

The world scruffiest pike front 😝 @davegstunts

A video posted by ✌️ (@tomholland2013) on

10 thoughts on “Why the New Spider-Man Casting Matters

  1. seriously… I love the Amazing Spiderman… I thought he did better than the last guy who just seemed whiny and sad all the time… had more of the youthful enjoyment to the movie… but my thing is I swear if they do another origin story it’s gonna be stupid as hell… everyone knows his origins by now… they need to just move on from that… it would be cool to see him get to interact with the other superheroes… and I do think it’s good they’re getting someone young enough to actually be able to play the role for a while… because some of the problems popping up are that the other actors are getting so old they don’t want to keep playing these action packed films… but really they needed to get this junk figured out because geez it’s getting ridiculous with these reboots so close together…


  2. The Raimi movies were better overall… but I didn’t hate the Garfield ones. I actually feel sorry for Garfield because I felt like he wanted to be a better Spider-Man than Sony did. I don’t mind the recasting, and will reserve judgment on the actor until I see him in the role.

    The MAIN hope I have here… is that we will not get a new origin. I don’t want to see another retelling of Spidey’s first adventures so soon. I just want them to have this be Spidey, we know the backstory, now tell some good new stories with him. Fingers crossed for no new origin story!


  3. I enjoyed Raimi and Maguire’s Spider-Man. They were fine Spidey movies. While I enjoyed the Amazing Spider-Man movies, Garfield’s voice irritates the crap out of me. The second movie I couldn’t even understand half the words coming out of his mouth. But they were fun for what they were. Bringing the character in line with the MCU now, though, I’m more excited than ever! Can’t wait for the news to start pouring out.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Personally, I love the casting. It wasn’t until I saw those Instagram videos that I was convinced, but if Sony and Marvel think he’s best for being the new Spider-Man, I’ll trust their judgement. I’ve not seen him in anything, but that’s an advantage because he doesn’t have to live-up to any expectations. I’m hoping he gets to do as many stunts as possible to show off his ability. But as for Captain America: Civil War – how much will we see him in publicity? I’m guessing not much if at all, but he might be in Ant-Man’s post credits scene. Normally, I don’t tend to stay for those, but if there’s a chance he’ll be there, I’ll make the point of waiting. Especially since Spider-Man 2 is my favourite Marvel adaptation, and Marvel now doing Spider-Man themselves, more or less, is too big a reason to not miss that.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Geekritique

      Dude, always stay for Marvel credits scenes!! Haha. I hear the Ant-Man post credits scenes are great. I too agree, the fact I haven’t seen him in anything does him good. No expectations to meet.

      Liked by 1 person

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