After countless rumors and much speculation, Sony has finally found the next Spider-Man, as well as a director, for its new reboot and third take on the franchise. Tom Holland (The Impossible) will play Peter Parker and his neighborhood-friendly web-slinging alter ego, with Jon Watts (Clown) directing.
Along with playing Naomi Watts (While We’re Young) and Ewan McGregor’s (Jane Got a Gun) son in The Impossible (2012), the U.K. actor also lent his voice as Tom Hardy’s (Mad Max: Fury Road) son in Locke, as well as in the English version of Studio Ghibli’s The Secret World of Arrietty. He’s also set to star in the period drama Pilgrimage and Ron Howard’s (Inferno) next adventure, In the Heart of the Sea with Chris Hemsworth (Blackhat).
Holland beat out Asa Butterfield (Ender’s Game), Judah Lewis (Point Break), Matthew Lintz (Pixels), Charlie Plummer (TV’s Boardwalk Empire), and Charlie Rowe (Never Let Me Go) for the coveted role of the next Spider-Man. All of them reportedly took part in some stealth test-screenings in Atlanta, at which producers Kevin Feige, Amy Pascal, and Captain America: Civil War directors Joe and Anthony Russo were present.
The rebooted franchise is part of a deal between Sony and Marvel Entertainment that will allow the hero to appear in films in Disney’s Marvel Cinematic Universe, with all solo Spidey films released through Sony. Holland will make his first appearance as Spider-Man in next year’s Captain America: Civil War.
Holland is part of Sony’s plan to set the character in high school, like the original run of comics. Sam Raimi’s (Poltergeist) first Spider-Man film started with Peter Parker finishing high school and the more recent two films starring Andrew Garfield (99 Homes) had the character graduating.
Watts’ first Hollywood project was the horror movie Clown (2014), though he really started to make a name for himself with the Kevin Bacon thriller Cop Car, which premiered at this year’s Sundance Film Festival and will be released in August. Along with those films, he worked on the news parody TV shows The Onion News Network and Onion Sportsdome, so he should be able to bring out the humor in the series.
While Spider-Man will first appear in the upcoming Captain America: Civil War, the first solo movie in this new series is currently slated to be released July 28, 2017.