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Russo Brothers Recall How Sony Didn’t Want to Cast Tom Holland as Spider-Man

Holland stars in the Russos' PTSD drama "Cherry" and will soon reprise his role as Peter Parker in "Spider-Man: No Way Home."

"Spider-Man: Far From Home"

“Spider-Man: Far From Home”


Tom Holland has been web-slinging as Peter Parker since Anthony and Joe Russo first directed him in “Captain America: Civil War,” followed by other Marvel spinoffs and his own “Spider-Man” film series set up at Sony. He’s about to appear in the third entry, “Spider-Man: No Way Home,” due for theaters in December. In a recent GQ profile of Holland, who has just re-teamed with the Russo brothers for the PTSD drama “Cherry” — a bid at prestige cinema for both Holland and the Russos — the filmmakers recall how they, and Sony, were at first hesitant to cast Holland as Spider-Man. (Via The Playlist.)

“We talked with [president Kevin] Feige at Marvel about Holland and he got excited and then we went to Sony…” said Joe Russo. “And they were like, ‘Let’s think about it for a minute.’ We could tell we were meeting resistance from Sony. So we brought [Holland] back, brought him back, brought him back, and we were relentless in our pursuit of jamming him down the throat of the studio who owns this IP. It came down to a fight, yet Sony just kept dragging their feet.”

“Look, we have a great relationship with Kevin. Winter Soldier was a big hit, doubling the box office from the previous film, then coming into Civil War Sony is looking at us going, ‘OK, so you guys have the Midas touch, here’s our [Spider-Man] IP.’ But, also, they were reticent, nervous, about handing off something that could ultimately cost them hundreds of millions of dollars, if not billions of dollars down the line,” he said.

Anthony Russo also said there was skepticism over Holland’s age at the time. “It was the first time Spider-Man had ever been cast as an actual teenager, right? Which was very important to us; there was a distinct nervousness of casting a kid,” Anthony Russo said.

“There’s a universe where Tom Holland is the last great movie star coming in underneath the wire of disruption. It takes a perfect storm of events to create a star: talent, timing, marketplace,” Joe Russo said.

The interview also dives into Holland’s screen test with Robert Downey Jr., which is the stuff of Marvel Cinematic Universe lore. Read the whole story over at GQ here.

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