Sony wasn’t originally as excited about casting Tom Holland as Spider-Man as the Russo Brothers and Marvel Studios were. The directing duo recalled casting Holland for Captain America: Civil War in a new interview promoting the release of their latest movie, Cherry. Bringing in an actor to take on one of the biggest superheroes on the planet is not an easy decision, and it appears that Sony was being extremely cautious about bringing in a new fresh face.
Tom Holland has been praised for his portrayal of Peter Parker over the last handful of years, with many comic book fans claiming that he is the best actor to take the role on. However, he was relatively unknown when the Russo Brothers and Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige found him. Sony wasn’t sold on the idea. Joe Russo had this to say about the casting of Holland.
“We talked with Feige at Marvel about Holland and he got excited and then we went to Sony… 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.”
Sony was also unsure about their deal with Marvel Studios over sharing the Spider-Man franchise. Joe Russo says Sony was “nervous about handing off something that could ultimately cost them hundreds of millions of dollars, if not billions of dollars down the line.” While the deal has proven to be incredibly lucrative for both studios, taking the leap was initially hard. “Sony’s reservations were: ‘Are we loaning it? Or are we giving it to them to help us reinvent it in a way that adds value for us?'” Russo continued.
Anthony Russo also pointed out that “It was the first time Spider-Man had ever been cast as an actual teenager, right?” When it came down to casting the new Peter Parker, the Russo Brothers knew that they wanted a young actor to take on the role. “[It] was very important to us; there was a distinct nervousness of casting a kid.” After introducing the character in Captain America: Civil War, Sony knew that the deal and Tom Holland were going to work out.
Tom Holland was very nervous about auditioning for the role, but his screen test with Robert Downey Jr. calmed him down a bit. With that being said, the young actor has said that it was torturous waiting to hear back from the studio about whether or he was going to continue playing the character. “From the moment of shooting Civil War to Spider-Man: Homecoming, I was convinced they were going to fire me,” said Holland in a recent interview. Now, the actor wants to continue playing Peter Parker for as long as he can. The interview with the Russo Brothers was originally conducted by British GQ.