It’s been months since Sony and Marvel Studios announced that they would finally be working together on the Spider-Man franchise, launching a co-produced film in 2017 and allowing the character to cross over into Marvel’s Avengers franchise. That was news that every fan of the character has been waiting for pretty much since Marvel hit big with The Avengers, and as soon it became a reality everyone had a new piece of news they couldn’t wait to hear: Who would play this new, younger version of the webslinger?
Now we know. Marvel announced today that 19-year-old English actor Tom Holland will play the role in the Spider-Man film set for release in 2017 (and, likely, in next year’s Captain America: Civil War). Holland’s career began in theater, where he was chosen for the leading role in the London stage production of Billy Elliot, then moved to film with 2012’s Oscar-nominated The Impossible. This was already set to be his breakout year, thanks to roles in the acclaimed miniseries Wolf Hall and Ron Howard’s next film In the Heart of the Sea, which will be released in December, but now he’s set to hit an entirely new level of stardom in a very short time.
Marvel also announced that the film will be directed by Jon Watts, best known for the acclaimed thriller Cop Car, which premiered earlier this year at the Sundance Film Festival. Watts is untested in the realm of blockbusters, but his hiring continues Marvel’s tradition of hiring directors known for smaller projects with distinct voices (like James Gunn and The Russo Brothers) and giving them a shot at something massive.
As if that weren’t already enough big Spider-Man news for the week, Marvel also announced a few days ago that Miles Morales, the Black Hispanic teenage Spider-Man from the alternate “Ultimate” universe, will be moving into the main Marvel universe this fall with his very own new series. Miles’ creators, writer Brian Michael Bendis and artist Sara Pichelli, will re-team for the series, simply titled Spider-Man, and the book will arrive in a few months after Marvel’s wrapped up its summer Secret Wars event.
So, if you’re a Spider-Man fan, it’s a pretty big week.