Sony Names New Spider-Man and Director

"We’ve found the perfect actor to bring Spider-Man’s story into the Marvel Cinematic Universe."

Tom Holland will be the next Spider-Man for Sony Pictures and Jon Watts will direct him in the movie scheduled for release on July 28, 2017. The announcement was made today at in a press release.

The release is as follows:

“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.”

Holland came to fame playing the title role Billy Elliot the Musical in London from 2008 until 2010. He starred in The Impossible alongside Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor. In the British version of Studio Ghibli’s Arrietty he was the voice of Sho. For BBC Two’s Wolf Hall he appeared as Gregory Cromwell. His most recent project is Ron Howard’s soon to be released In the Heart of the Sea, playing against Chris Hemsworth. Holland certainly is the youngest Spider-Man, being born in 1996. Casting a nineteen year old demonstrates that Marvel and Sony are willing to grow with Holland over time.

Watts is listed on IMDB as directing Eugene! (2012), Clown (2014), and Cop Car, due out this August and starring Kevin Bacon. In the promotion of the horror film Clown, Watts and his screenwriter Christopher D. Ford created a fake trailer for YouTube that stated “From the Master of Horror, Eli Roth.” Roth had no involvement with the film at that time but was impressed with “how ballsy there were” issuing the trailer with his name on it, and eventually came on board to produce the film. This is an interesting revelation, as most filmmakers are quick to drop a lawsuit into the laps of someone that uses their name without permission. Roth must have seen something in Watts that wanted him to participate, which bodes well for this Spider film.

With this announcement, Holland and Watts are going to be popping up a lot in the press as anticipation for this new beginning for the film adventures of Spider-Man heats up.
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Patrick Hayes was a contributor to the Comic Buyer's Guide for several years with "It's Bound to Happen!" and he's reviewed comics for TrekWeb and TrekCore. He's taught 8th graders English for 20 years and has taught high school English for five years and counting. He reads everything as often as he can, when not grading papers or looking up Star Trek, Star Wars, or Indiana Jones items online.
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