Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Tom Holland Cast as Next SPIDER-MAN, Jon Watts to Direct

After a lengthy search, Sony Pictures and Marvel have agreed on their new Spider-Man. 

Marvel has announced that actor Tom Holland will portray Marvel's Peter Parker, better known to comics fans as the amazing/spectacular/sensational Spider-Man. Holland, 19, starred in the 2012 film The Impossible and played the title role in the London West End production of Billy Elliot the Musical.

The actor should first appear as Spider-Man in the upcoming 2016 Marvel film Captain America: Civil War before starring in his first solo Spider-Man film for Sony Pictures in 2017. Holland will be the sixth actor to portray Spider-Man in live-action, after Danny Seagren on The Electric Company TV series, Nicholas Hammond on The Amazing Spider-Man (1978) TV series, Takuya Yamashiro in the Japanese Spider-Man TV series, Tobey Maguire in the three Spider-Man films directed by Sam Raimi, and Andrew Garfield in the two Amazing Spider-Man movies directed by Marc Webb.

In addition, Marvel announced that Jon Watts will direct the still untitled film.  Watts previously directed the 2014 horror film Clown, he upcoming movie Cop Car and several episodes of The Onion News Network television series.

And look, here's a handy press release from Marvel...

Sony Pictures and Marvel Studios are proud to announce that after a full worldwide casting search, Tom Holland will play Peter Parker/Spider-Man in the next Spider-Man film, in theaters in IMAX and 3D on July 28, 2017.  The film will be directed by Jon Watts, director of "Cop Car," the upcoming thriller that made its debut earlier this year at the Sundance Film Festival.

Marvel and Sony Pictures, and producers Kevin Feige and Amy Pascal conducted an extensive search for both the actor and the director.  The studios and producers were impressed by Holland’s performances in "The Impossible," “Wolf Hall,” and the upcoming "In the Heart of the Sea," and by a series of complex screen tests.  Following Marvel’s tradition of working with the brightest next wave of directors, Watts also went through multiple meetings with Feige, Pascal, and the studio, before winning the job. 

Commenting on the announcement, Tom Rothman, Sony Pictures Motion Pictures Group Chairman, said, “It’s a big day here at Sony. Kevin, Amy and their teams have done an incredible job.  The Marvel process is very thorough, and that’s why their results are so outstanding.  I’m confident Spider-Man will be no exception.  I’ve worked with a number of up-and-coming directors who have gone on to be superstars and believe that Jon is just such an outstanding talent.  For Spidey himself, we saw many terrific young actors, but Tom’s screen tests were special.   All in all, we are off to a roaring start.”

Feige commented, “As with James Gunn, Joss Whedon, and the Russo brothers, we love finding new and exciting voices to bring these characters to life.  We spent a lot of time with Jon and find his take and work inspiring.”

Pascal added, “Sony, Marvel, Kevin and I all knew that for Peter Parker, we had to find a vibrant, talented young actor capable of embodying one of the most well-known characters in the world.  With Tom, we’ve found the perfect actor to bring Spider-Man’s story into the Marvel Cinematic Universe.”

Sony Pictures will finance and release worldwide the next installment of the $4 billion Spider-Man franchise on July 28, 2017, in a film co-produced by Kevin Feige and his expert team at Marvel and Amy Pascal, who oversaw the franchise launch for the studio 13 years ago. Together, they will collaborate on a new creative direction for the Web-Slinger.

Spider-Man, embraced all over the world, is the most successful franchise in the history of Sony Pictures, with the five films having taken in more than $4 billion worldwide.

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