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Tom Holland has a lot riding on him as the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Spider-Man. Not only is the Wall-Crawler one of the most popular superheroes ever, but he already has an established history on the big screen, previously being played by Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield. As the third cinematic Spider-Man, there’s a lot of pressure to make the character stand out, and while Holland will be looking to inspiration from the two actors before him, the MCU’s Peter Parker will take the character somewhere he’s never been before.
Holland wasn’t willing to divulge too many details to Variety about what it’s like playing the Web-Slinger, but did say that fans can expect take his character down a special path. In his words:
...at the moment, there’s going to be both things from Tobey [Maguire] and Andrew’s [Garfield] character that I’m going to steal. But there’s one very specific path that [director] Jon [Watts] and I agree on and we’d like to take the character down and explore his background.
“Steal” is a strong word, but it sounds like Holland’s Spidey will be aiming to be some kind of amalgamation of Maguire and Garfield’s versions. While both previous live-action Spider-Men have their fair share of followers, there were also aspects of them that didn’t quite live up the ideal version from the comics. Namely, Maguire’s Spider-Man didn't have as many quippy moments, while Garfield’s Peter Parker didn’t resemble the nerdy, social outcast he is at school. If Holland is able to pull off a nice blend of what his predecessors brought to the table, while also adding his own spin, then this may be the most faithful version of Spider-Man we’ve ever had.
As for this path, it’s hard to say given how few details there are about this version of the character. What we know so far about Holland’s Spider-Man is that the MCU will take him back to his high school days, and while we fortunately won’t have to sit through another origin story, he will still be early into his superhero career. Since he’ll be balancing his crimefighting work with his life at school, perhaps this movie will more deeply delve into his unpopularity among his peers, which was only briefly touched upon in the other movies. At school he’s a misfit, but when he puts on the Spider-Man mask and costume, he’s able to escape this torment and use his powers to work out his anger while also protecting others.
Tom Holland’s Spider-Man will first appear next May in Captain America: Civil War as one of the many superheroes participating in the conflict following the passing of the Sokovia Accords. While he will be one of the sources of comic relief in the movie, Peter will also find himself torn between the different ideologies. Following that, he’ll get to venture out on his own when his solo movie hits theaters on July 28, 2017.