Tom Holland Will Be in 'Spider-Man 4,' but How Did He Get the Role?

"It’s very rare someone walks into a room who has all the elements that make up a bona fide star. Holland had that thing.”

Brandon Charles - Author

Mar. 28 2024, Published 3:39 p.m. ET

Tom Holland at the  "Spider-Man: No Way Home" Los Angeles Premiere on Dec. 13, 2021
Source: Getty Images

It looks like Spider-Man 4 is happening! Well, it’s the fourth Tom Holland-as-Spider-Man film that might be happening! Well, it's the fourth Spider-Man film starring Tom Holland. He has already been in more than four films playing the role of Spider-Man. Man, people sure do like Tom as Spider-Man.

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With recent rumored updates of the next Spider-Man film via The InSneider (sorry Euphoria fans, Spider-Man 4 is taking precedent over the HBO show), it’s time to remember how very likable Tom Holland became the very likable Peter Parker.

Tom Holland and Spider-Men in 2017
Source: Getty
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How did Tom Holland become Spider-Man?

In an April 15, 2021, interview with British GQ, directors Joe and Anthony Russo, aka the Russo brothers, aka the guys that made Captain America: The Winter Soldier, Captain America: Civil War (the movie where we’re introduced to Tom Holland as Spider-Man), Avengers: Infinity War, and Avengers: Endgame, spoke about the Spider-Man casting process.

According to the piece, Sarah Halley Finn, Marvel’s casting head, told the Russo brothers, “This is the guy. You are going to love him.” This is after Tom has gone through months of casting already.

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Joe said, “Sarah (Finn) should get all the credit for casting Holland as Spider-Man; she’s the best in the business and she knows us. We had already done two films with her. So Holland came in. He did his test. We called Sarah straight after and said, ‘Oh, my God, he’s incredible. He’s a movie star: he’s got the charisma; he’s got the range.’ It’s very rare someone walks into a room who has all the elements that make up a bona fide star. Holland had that thing.”

Anthony said, “Plus, Holland’s ability to do a standing backflip right in front of you — that helped! 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.”

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If you want to get cast in a Marvel movie, you need to impress Sarah Halley Finn.

The British GQ piece points out something that needs to be noted. Sarah Halley Finn is possibly more responsible for Tom being Spider-Man than the Russo brothers. She’s the person who chose Robert Downey Jr. for Iron Man, Chris Hemsworth for Thor, Benedict Cumberbatch for Dr. Stephen Strange, and Chadwick Boseman for Black Panther.

Michael Keaton, Tom Holland, and Robert Downey Jr. at the "Spiderman: Homecoming" New York photo call on June 25, 2017
Source: Getty
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If you want to get cast as Spider-Man, you also need to impress Iron Man.

Robert Downey Jr. also spoke on the casting process for Tom as Spider-Man. “I’d been testing with a bunch of kids that day. They shall remain unnamed, but they all did well and any one of them would have brought something else to the part of Spider-Man. But why Holland? That’s your question, right? Gravitas. Gravitas and the confidence to be able to take on the mantle.”

Zendaya and Tom Holland Zendaya and Tom Holland at a photocall for "Spiderman: No Way Home" on Dec. 5, 2021
Source: Getty Images

At least Tom knew he was auditioning for Spider-Man.

Spidey’s love interest is MJ — played by his real-life girlfriend Zendaya. She didn't actually know what role she was auditioning for. In a 2021 interview with GQ, Zendaya said, “I didn’t know what role I was auditioning for. I just thought it was 'girl in Spider-man movie.' I didn’t really know what character, or what kind of character, they would be. Right before the screen test, they were kind of saying okay these are the characters that we’re reading for, MJ being one of them and I was like “Oh that would be so cool!"

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