Now that the news has broke that Marvel and Sony have finally landed an actor to play ‘Spider-Man,’ namely 19-year old british actor Tom Holland, as well as someone to direct the new ‘Spider-Man’ film, indie favorite Jon Watts, the question becomes how exactly did Marvel/Sony come to these decisions.
For Tom Holland, it seems at the end of the day it was between him and Charlie Rowe, both of whom had to screen test with star Robert Downey Jr. (aka Iron Man/Tony Stark) to see if they had any chemistry, as Downey Jr. is said to have a few significant scenes with Spider-Man in the upcoming ‘Captain America: Civil War.‘ When a decision could still not be made by Marvel Studios Chief Kevin Feige and producer Amy Pascal, they then had the actors screen test with Captain America himself, Chris Evans, though sources say in the end, Holland was actually the only one who screen tested with both Downey Jr. and Evans. During his test with Evans, it became apparent that Holland was the clear choice, and negotiations began.
As for the director, it seems Jon Watts was the frontrunner for Kevin Feige, who clearly had just seen his most recent film, the Sundance thriller ‘Cop Car,’ which did very well at the festival, not to mention reports that Feige really enjoyed Watts’ take on the world of Peter Parker/Spider-Man. Watts comes from the world of commercial and music video work (similar to previous Spidey director Marc Webb), and also has a background in comedy, as one source points out, even having ‘The Onion News Network’ on his resume. Which, of course, ties in to the idea from Marvel and Sony that the new ‘Spider-Man’ and his films should delve more into the comedy of the character, especially since he is just a teenager to start with.
Watts will follow a familiar indie-to-tentpole path similar to other Marvel directors such as James Gunn (‘Guardians of the Galaxy’) and Jon Favreau (‘Iron Man’), a path whose success has given both Sony and Marvel confidence that Watts can produce exactly what they desire. What are your thoughts on the directing and casting choices for the new ‘Spider-Man’ films? Is Watts up to the challenge? Will Holland hold up the tradition of great actors playing the wall-crawler? Let us know your thoughts below!