I’m starting to think Tom Holland really is Spider-Man

09.12.16 1 year ago

While I did not attend the recent set visit for Spider-Man: Homecoming, I”ve spoken with a few folks who did, and it really does sound like Marvel”s doing their very best to give fans a Spider-Man film that they”re going to adore. And a big part of that, at least based on Captain America: Civil War, hinges on the casting of Tom Holland as Peter Parker.

Last week, the Russo Brothers, who directed Civil War, sent out a photo via Instagram that was very simple, but very provocative at the same time:

 

Rehearsal.

A photo posted by The Russo Brothers (@therussobrothers) on Sep 8, 2016 at 11:37am PDT

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That is, of course, Josh Brolin as Thanos in the motion-capture suit there on the stage with the Russos, and they are starting work on Avengers: Infinity War, which should be the biggest Marvel movie ever made if there”s any justice in the world. I suspect it will tell an epic story that finally pays off the groundwork they”ve laid for Brolin”s character in movie after movie so far.

Jon Watts seemed to fire some shots back at the Russos today, and it”s all part of a genuine fraternity that seems to develop between the various Marvel filmmakers. Scott Derrickson, the Russos, James Gunn, Ryan Coogler, Taika Waititi and Watts are all working right now to bring different characters and stories to life, but they”re all working in the same world, and it”s a pretty heady club with some great toys. Thanos is a performance-capture character, start to finish, as are several Marvel characters now. But for Spider-Man, it looks like Watt is using a variety of techniques.

Here”s what Watts posted on Instagram:

 

Yeah but @therussobrothers can Thanos do THIS?

A video posted by Jon Watts (@jnwtts) on Sep 11, 2016 at 1:00pm PDT

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I love that Holland is enjoying himself so visibly, and that they”re using him for both the physical Spider-Man as much as possible and even for the digital stunt version. (Remember those impressive stunt videos he's been showing off in?) Holland”s going to get to inject so much personality into the character because of just how much it”s going to actually be him in the costume. Tobey Maguire, the JFK of Spider-Man actors, was notoriously unable to perform many of the more vigorous scenes as Spidey because of his bad back, and considering how much wire work there is in the Raimi films, I can”t blame him for sitting a lot of it out. Andrew Garfield did quite a bit of his own work, and he certainly seemed to enjoy the poses in the costume, but like Maguire, I always felt like he was starting as an adult, and that changes the overall physicality of what an actor”s going to do.

Holland is a kid, and he”s got that playful weird energy that kids have, and that is absolutely ideal for Spider-Man. Watching him break-dance seems like a perfectly natural way to enjoy being Spider-Man, with all of the freedom that entails. There is a joy to his performance in Civil War that I hope is also part of Homecoming, and I”m looking forward to seeing him have an entire film to explore the character. Both characters, actually. He”s one of the first major Marvel characters with a closely-guarded secret identity, something we haven”t seen Marvel play with a lot. I hope they get that Peter Parker is the Job of the Marvel universe, the character who all the bad shit happens to. Peter works so hard, and he's not rich, and he”s not the king of a country, and he”s not part of some ancient magical order, and he”s not a magical half-human space pirate. He”s just a kid, trying to get through school, trying to make his aunt proud, and trying to figure out how to handle all of the power he”s been given after his accident. He is perpetually put upon by money, school, girls, and life in general, and at all points, he is driven by the knowledge that he has done something he can never take back. That Peter Parker… the kid who the world puts its thumb on… is someone we haven”t really seen, and now that we know Peter Parker can bust a move, I look forward to learning more about the actual take we”ll see on the character.

Spider-Man: Homecoming will be in theaters July 7, 2017.

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