Tom Holland’s SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING Influences
Tom Holland swung into the Marvel Cinematic Universe in last summer’s Captain America: Civil War, as high school student and rookie superhero Peter Parker / Spider-Man, who was tracked down and drafted into an Avenger-versus-Avenger skirmish by Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.). Holland reprises the role in Spider-Man: Homecoming, which finds Peter navigating high school life and attempting to prove his worth to idol Iron Man in an attempt to join the ranks of the Avengers — all while being tasked with bringing down the nefarious machinations of the villainous and high-flying Vulture (Michael Keaton).
Director Jon Watts — who previously listed Say Anything, Almost Famous, Can’t Buy Me Love, Breaking Away and Dead Poet’s Society as influences on Marvel Studios’ coming-of-age tale — gave his young cast (Tom Holland, Zendaya, Jacob Batalon, Laura Harrier, and Tony Revolori) homework in the form of classic ’80s movies, citing a desire to invoke the spirit of such seminal John Hughes works as The Breakfast Club and Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.
In a recent chat with Yahoo Movies, Holland revealed the inspiration behind his critically-acclaimed take on Peter Parker: Marty McFly, the time-hopping high school student portrayed by Michael J. Fox in the Back to the Future trilogy. “I think that was one of the things that Jon set out to do and its just a reflection on him, as a director, that’s he’s getting this kind of a response from it,” Holland said of the Clown and Cop Car director. “He gave us a load of videos, old movies, to watch before starting shooting: Pretty in Pink, Back to the Future, Breakfast Club, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off. My goal was to try and kind of be our generation’s Marty McFly. That was what my all-time goal was, and I was actually lucky enough that a journalist said, ‘Oh, you’re kind of like Marty McFly in this movie.’”
“One of the best things about this movie is if you stripped away all of the Spider-Man scenes, there’s a really solid movie there without the superhero aspect about Peter growing up, going to school, struggling,” Holland added. “So it’s a nice balance between superhero and kid at high school.”
When asked how Spider-Man: Homecoming differs from past cinematic iterations of the iconic webhead, Holland pointed to Peter’s desire to join Earth’s mightiest heroes as an official Avenger — something previous Spider-Man movies were unable to do.
“I think the difference is now that Peter Parker finds he has an all-time goal. His goal is to become an Avenger,” Holland shared. “Everything he does, even though he’s doing it for the right reasons, is done so that one day he can maybe become an Avenger and prove himself to Tony Stark. We’ve never really seen Spider-Man with that kind of motivation before.”
“It’s also really nice to just see a kid with super powers, you know? We’ve seen the scientist, the billionaire, the god. Now, it’s time to see what would happen if a kid was given those responsibilities – and it’s fun. It makes it more funny because he doesn’t really know what to do with them or how to use them – when to use them. It’s just a very different grounded version of what I think superhero movies are.”
Spider-Man: Homecoming swings into theaters July 7th.