May 8, 2016
Tom Holland's 'Civil War' Debut As Spider-Man Adds Humor And Innocence To Iconic Role

Tom Holland's Civil War party has just started. Many doubted the young actor could pull it off, but Tom Holland's Civil War performance was very different than any previous Spider-Man movie portrayals. He brought a completely fresh perspective. Marvel made sure to renew him while still firmly embedding him in the already established Marvel Cinematic Universe. Essentially, Marvel taught Sony how to totally reinterpret a character while at the same time adding more comic book authenticity.

To those who have yet to see Captain America: Civil War, it's probably better you come back after you have seen the movie. But if you don't care about knowing some juicy details first, then please read on.

Marvel catered Tom Holland's role to a story that would make sense to the conflict between Captain America and Iron man and their respective super-powered associates. Iron Man needed a little extra help, so he went with someone nobody, except the audience, knew much about. Spider-Man provided the surprise factor for Team Iron Man. And he came in at a time when Ant-Man provided his own enormous surprise factor, nearly getting the win for Team Cap with his sudden growth spurt. But even he wasn't prepared to get tangled up in Spider-Man's web.

As the Los Angeles Times mentioned, Spider-Man added another dose of humor to these Marvel movies that are already quite funny to begin with. But the movie still needed it after Black Panther stepped on the scene.

Black Panther was serious business. His portrayal and story about how he got involved had no humor at all. Tom Holland's Civil War Spider-Man helped balance the humor in a movie that was filled with somber issues of responsibility, perspective, and commitment. Each superhero had his or her own reasons for choosing a side, but Spider-Man's reasons for joining in were more innocent than the others, acting as more as Civil War's detached player.

No one wins big awards for superhero movies outside of winning roles and bigger pay in further superhero movies. But Civil War provided a more serious, more realistic concept of superhero movies. In effect, the Russo brothers brought extreme realism to scenes out of comic books. They made the superhero world that much more believable. They presented characters in ways that will have audience members looking out their windows to see if Iron Man or Falcon are flying by.

The next Avengers movies are rumored to be bringing the characters on space adventures, perhaps to a realm that mainly Thor movies have occupied. If the Infinity War storyline is followed, then it will be interesting to see how the Russo brothers and Marvel will bring that same realism with them to superheroes in space. Out of Marvel's space-based movies, the Thor series, along with Guardians of the Galaxy, were effective in showing lands beyond Earth but were not aiming for the Russo brothers trademark realism.

During casting auditions, Holland impressed all with his real-life Spider-Man skills. As Entertainment Weekly reported, Chris Evans noted how Holland's flipping ability was seen as a major asset, although at first Marvel execs worried he would get injured.

"Marvel doesn't want to see this kid break his neck, so everyone from [the studio] was like, 'Don't! Don't!' And Joe just started salivating, 'Just do it!'"

Tom Holland's Civil War casting took place in the presence of both Robert Downey Jr. and Chris Evans. Holland's acrobatic skills pushed him to the top of other young men auditioning for the role, as the Russo brothers could use them to make the character come to life. Among the many impressive superheroes in the film, Tom Holland's Civil War performance stood out. And fans waiting since 2014 to see Spider-Man on screen were ecstatic.

[Photo by Alberto Alcocer/Getty Images]