Over the past fifteen years, we've seen five live-action Spider-Man solo films, six movies which feature the beloved webslinger and three different Peter Parkers. While we have only seen Tom Holland's portrayal of Marvel's most popular superhero in a cameo in Captain America: Civil War and trailers for Spider-Man: Homecoming so far, he's already our favorite Spidey yet! The rising British star has Peter's charm, sense of humor and wide-eyed optimism down pat, and we can't wait to see what he can do in his first solo film on July 7!
15 He's an age-appropriate high school Peter Parker
Since Tobey Maguire was 27 years old when he first portrayed Peter Parker and Andrew Garfield was 29 years old, it's understandable why their Spider-Man films only briefly placed them in Midtown High School—you couldn't exactly believe they were kids. Tom Holland, on the other hand, was only 20 during filming of Spider-Man: Homecoming. His portrayal of the teenager bitten by a radioactive spider is thus much more realistic and relatable. In the trailer for the upcoming film, you get to see him look like every other high school kid, sitting in the cafeteria, checking out the school's hottest girls. The scene was very reminiscent of the young Spidey featured in the early comics and on the current hit animated series, Ultimate Spider-Man, which is making fans super excited.
14 He's loved Spidey since he was a little kid
Fans freaked out when Andrew Garfield showed up to a comic book expo when he was first cast as Peter Parker in a cheap, Halloween-store quality Spider-Man costume, because he seemed to be a genuine fan of the character. Well, Tom has been a fan of the wallcrawler for years, and he's got proof—there's a picture of him backstage before a performance of the West End's Billy Elliott: The Musical (in which he played the titular role) playing with a Spider-Man action figure, taken five years before he was ever considered to play the superhero he loved! Ryan Reynold's lifelong love for Deadpool made his portrayal of the character absolutely unforgettable, and we're sure Tom's passion for Spider-Man is going to help him be the best solo film Spidey we've seen yet.
13 Tom portrays Peter's idolization of Tony Stark perfectly
Fans of comic book Spider-Man know that Peter Parker has always hero-worshipped Tony Stark. Iron Man has acted as a mentor for Spider-Man for decades, and when Tony needed a wingman at his side to rally troops during the infamous "Civil War" storyline, he immediately snagged his loyal follower.
In his first scene with Robert Downey Jr. during Captain America: Civil War, we were treated to instant chemistry between the two actors, and you could immediately tell just how amped up Peter was to be able to fight alongside an Avenger. The trailers for Spider-Man: Homecoming feature a car scene with the two characters, where Tom again shines as he seeks advice from the seasoned superhero.
12 He's as worried about Tony flirting with his (hot) Aunt May as we are
Aunt May is supposed to be a very old woman. She's been that way in all of the Spider-Man comics and previous films. For whatever reason, Sony and Marvel cast the still-sexy Marisa Tomei in the role for their films, so Tony Stark simply couldn't stop himself from flirting with her a bit during Civil War. Fans were instantly sketched out by this relationship, and Tom's Peter shared our distaste for the very unnatural pairing. From the expressions on his face when he watched one of the biggest superheroes on the planet flirt with his recently-widowed aunt to his awkward looks on his face when Tony brought her up in private, you could tell he's not okay with them being alone in the same room as each other ever again. Thank you.
11 He's already filmed a team-up movie with Thor!
Spider-Man and Thor have teamed up a number of times in the comics over the years, and Tom and Thor actor Chris Hemsworth have already kept that tradition going and filmed a team-up movie! Okay, they didn't actually portray Peter or the God of Thunder in that film, but starring in In The Heart of The Sea together last year helped the pair get a kick-start on a friendship that we'll get to see developed next year in Avengers: Infinity War. Chris and Tom seem to get along great, as the two are always seen smiling and laughing together in pictures, and in a Get Info Film interview for Heart of The Sea, Chris called Tom "pretty delicious." The pair will probably be too busy fighting Thanos to have too many buddy moments together in Infinity War, but we can't wait to see them share the screen again!
10 Tom has the Stan Lee seal of approval
Initial reviews of Tom Holland's performance as Spider-Man in Civil War were universally positive, but fans needed to hear praise from one man before they could feel appropriately excited to see Tom in the role: Spider-Man creator Stan Lee. Luckily, Stan thought Tom makes the perfect Peter, so we were all comfortable feeling the same way. “Oh, he’s wonderful. I was with him the other day," said an enthusiastic Lee. "He is great. I can’t believe it. It’s as if we created a living being to be Spider-Man, and it turned out to be Tom.” You can't get much higher praise than a superhero's creator saying you were born to play the role you were cast in!
9 He knows exactly how to make fans freak out
Captain America: Civil War was every Marvel fan's dream come true. You got to see superheroes fighting each other, there were as many politically relevant scenes as there were amazing action scenes, and we were left with a conclusion that will dramatically affect the future of all of our favorite characters. Still, one image will always stand out as the most iconic from the record-setting blockbuster; Spider-Man holding Captain America's shield.
Fans absolutely lost it when Spidey surprised all of the Avengers by swinging into action and immediately stealing Steve Rogers' legendary weapon, and knowing this, Tom walked around the premiere for the film holding Cap's shield yet again. It seems that when you're a fan yourself, you know exactly how to make all the other fans in the world absolutely freak out with excitement!
8 He's answering our lifelong questions about Spidey
Spider-Man was first created in 1962, and we've gotten to learn a lot about Peter Parker over the past 55 years. Fans know about his fears, his aspirations, his loves and heartbreaks, his powers and limitations... but one question has always remained unanswered: how on earth does Spider-Man go to the bathroom?! You can't just swing into some random store or restaurant and use their facilities without people freaking out, and taking that skin-tight suit off every time you have to go is surely a hassle.
Tom Holland finally answered that lingering question in Facebook Live Q&A - Spidey just doesn't pee! "I was in the Spider-Man suit and it was in the very beginning of shooting, and I was in a harness and I had to stick to the ceiling. And I didn't go to the bathroom for like eleven hours or something," said Tom of his self-described worst day on set. "It's hot, so I'm drinking water all the time because I'm doing exercises and running around. But, I need to go to the toilet. Yeah, I didn't go to the bathroom for like eleven hours. And that's an expensive suit. You do not want to wet yourself in that suit." Poor Spider-Man!
7 Tom can do some serious Spidey-level acrobatic stunts!
Tom Holland can actually do most of Spider-Man's most epic moves in real life! No, we don't mean the horrid dance moves Tobey Maguire showed off as emo Peter Parker during Spider-Man 3. We mean front and back flips, hands-free cartwheels, and a number of parkour tricks like diving off of balconies and running up trees. Tom has a gymnastics and dance background, which has helped him acquire some serious flexibility and control over his body. Stuntmen and harnesses were used in most of the Spider-Man action scenes for Civil War and Homecoming, but it's really cool to know that if Tom had a web-shooter and a bit of super-strength, he would be every bit as amazing as Spider-Man is meant to be.
6 He's making sure to do his research for the films
Tom is a humble, wise-cracking kid portraying a humble, wise-cracking kid, so it probably wasn't too hard for him to get into character as Peter Parker. Regardless of that, he wanted to do everything he could to fully understand Peter, and secretly enrolled in a New York City high school for three days using a fake name and a fake accent so he could grasp everything Peter would be going through at Midtown High.
"It was really interesting because New York high schools are so different than the schools that I went to in London," he said on Facebook Live. "When I went to school, you had to wear a suit and tie and it's all boys and for me, it was the first time I was in a classroom with girls. It was like a really strange experience. It was really fun." Nobody goes back to high school willingly once they get out, so you have to admire Tom for going above and beyond to give us as realistic a portrayal of Peter as possible.
5 He's fine rocking Peter's most iconic, yet horrible, hairstyle
Peter Parker has rocked a number of hairstyles over 50 years of comics, television and films, and no look is as memorable and iconic as his classic parted, nerdy hairdo. Tobey Maguire opted to don a more cropped look as Peter, and Andrew Garfield wore his hair messy and spiked, so we've never seen a live-action truly nerdy Spider-Man. Tom Holland is finally giving us that side of Peter! Parted hair went out of style for guys in the '90s, so this was some serious fan-service on Tom's part. It's the little things that make dedicated Spider-Man enthusiasts the happiest—comic-accurate hairstyles, Spidey eyes which can move to match his expression, joking while fighting—and Tom seems to be covering every single base.
4 He's worked super hard to get a Spidey-like physique
Thanks to his love for dance, gymnastic, basketball and other recreational sports, Tom has always had a pretty good body. However, when you're portraying a superhero, you need more than "pretty good." You need super hot muscles. Tom worked very hard to get a heroic physique for Homecoming, and even resorted to drastic measures like electrocution to meet his goals in time.
"I went to this gym yesterday where they strap electric belts on you and you do exercise whilst being electrocuted. It's a really strange experience," he explained on Facebook Live. "It's like a dull tingling, but I'm definitely feeling it today. I have to do 20 minutes once a week." Yikes! That's serious dedication.
3 He's as great of a friend in real life as Peter is in the comics
Any fan of Tom Holland knows about his best friend, Harrison Osterfield. Tom and Harrison do pretty much everything together—Harrison is Tom's roommate, his frequent red carpet date and his workout partner. When Tom got cast as Spider-Man, he hired his buddy to be his personal assistant, to make sure he stayed grounded and that Hollywood couldn't change who he was inside. How sweet is that?! One of Peter's most defining features is his dedication to his friends and family, and Tom definitely shares that personality trait with his comic book counterpart. He's also formed close bonds with a number of his co-stars over the years, and can be seen on Instagram and YouTube all the time dancing and partying with his BFFs.
2 Tom is a really talented actor
Even though a lot of portraying Peter came fairly naturally to Tom, it takes some serious acting chops to pull off a role so beloved by comic fans and casual audiences worldwide. Tom was absolutely perfect in Civil War, and proved his brilliance wasn't just a fluke by putting on another great performance in In The Heart of The Sea. The British Academy of Film and Television Arts took notice of his talent this month, and gave Tom 2017's Rising Star Award! While it's most important to have the approval of fans, having the approval of your acting peers and film critics is pretty spectacular. Tom is an incredibly humble guy and will surely continue giving great performances so he lives up to the honor BAFTA granted him in future Spider-Man and Marvel films!
1 Most importantly of all, he's also a really great person
Being funny, humble, acrobatic and a great friend isn't enough to portray the perfect Peter Parker—you also have to be a genuinely good person. Tom Holland is an incredible human being, who is always eager to give back to the fans who have already given him so much. While filming Homecoming, Tom visited a New York City Children's Hospital to spend some time with his youngest, most in-need fans, in character as Spidey. The kids absolutely loved it, and you could tell from all the videos and pictures taken of the visit that Tom truly cared about the kids and hoped to brighten up their day. In a number of interviews, he called that day his favorite day on set. What a guy!