This Is Spider-Man

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Titus Andromedon once sang in his audition for “Too Many Spider-Men” on The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt, “And I will crush that Spider-Man, and then that other Spider-Man, and all the Spider-Men, ’till I’m the Spider-Man.” These prophetic words have been ringing especially true (in every sense except, frustratingly, the demographic one) in the last couple of weeks, as people have been awaiting the announcement of… yet another chosen heterosexual Spider-Man among a pool of bushy tailed, bright eyed and white skinned young actors, as mandated by Marvel. And, oh look, they’ve chosen one such Peter Parker.

The velvet-hatted, baby-faced 19-year-old you see above is Tom Holland, who’ll be the third actor to spurt silk at the wrists onscreen since 2002 (when Tobey Macguire played Spider-Man, followed by Andrew Garfield). Holland’s main competitor, THR noted, was Hugo‘s Asa Butterfield.

USA Today did a roundup of factoids about the actor, who’s most known for his roles in The Impossible and on Wolf Hall, informing us that he’s five years younger than either of the other actors when they started as Spider-Man, that he played Billy Elliot in the West End production of the highly successful musical based on the film, and that he’s proved himself a worthy stuntman on Instagram.

The film, which is being made by Marvel Studios and Sony Pictures, has also found its director: Jon Watts, who directed the Kevin Bacon-starring indie thriller Cop Car, which debuted at Sundance and will be released in August. Along with the studio, producers Kevin Feige and Amy Pascal (remember her?!) did an extensive search to find the actor and director.

Feige said, in a statement on Marvel’s website:

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 also commented:

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.