Tom Holland Tells Us The ‘Secret Weapon’ Behind His Spider-Man Portrayal In The Marvel Films

When Tom Holland debuted as Peter Parker in 2016’s Captain America: Civil War, film audiences were already quite familiar with Spider-Man from Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield having played the character across five movies altogether. So just like when a new actor comes along to play Batman, steps needed to be taken to ensure that Holland’s version of the Web-Slinger effectively stood out from his predecessors. Luckily, it doesn’t sound like this was much of an issue thanks to a “secret weapon” as Holland called it.

CinemaBlend’s own Sean O’Connell recently spoke with Tom Holland about his new Apple TV+ movie Cherry, but naturally the conversation turned to Spider-Man. When Sean brought up his belief that Holland’s Spider-Man is the most relatable version of the character we’ve seen on screen so far, and then asked if Holland felt he’d made Peter more relatable for audiences, the actor responded:

That was always our goal when we started off with the idea of introducing Peter Parker to the MCU. Obviously, in the MCU, you’ve got the billionaire, you’ve got the god, and you’ve got the soldier. And when I came in, it was now time to have the kid. Everyone goes to school, everyone does homework, everyone talks to their crush for the first time, and embarrasses themselves. And everyone wishes that they could be a superhero. So we really tapped into the idea of making him as relatable as possible. And I think it’s been our secret weapon. Because people watch these films and look at Peter Parker, and can see themselves in him. Especially when he becomes Spider-Man.

Although we saw both Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield’s Spider-Man in high school (the former only briefly at the start of his first movie), there’s definitely been more of an emphasis on Tom Holland’s Spider-Man being a high schooler, from his crimefighting endeavors involving his classmates to Peter navigating a social life when he’s not wearing the tights and mask. So combine that with Holland’s Peter Parker having more of an everyman quality, and no one can deny the relatability he exudes on a regular basis… you know, outside of saving the world while spinning webs.

Now that’s not to say that Tom Holland’s Spider-Man is going to be everyone’s favorite cinematic adaptation of the character, but clearly he’s been working out incredibly well for Marvel Studios and Sony Pictures. Following Captain America: Civil War, Holland’s Spider-Man has led two movies, with a third on the way, as well as participated in Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame. Holland is also slated to appear in another Marvel Studios movie, and he’s clearly down to keep playing Spider-Man for many more years. Granted, eventually we’ll get to a point where his Peter Parker will need to graduate high school and either go to college or embark on a different path through adulthood, but it sounds like relatability will always be a key aspect to the character.

As far as what we can expect from the now officially-titled Spider-Man: No Way Home, which is slated for December 17, no official plot details have been revealed yet. That said, it is shaping up to be the biggest live-action Spider-Man movie yet, with Benedict Cumberbatch returning Doctor Strange, and Jamie Foxx and Alfred Molina reprising Electro and Doctor Octopus, respectively. As we wait for more news on the production, don’t forget to browse through our Marvel movies guide.

Adam Holmes
Senior Content Producer

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.