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Meet the MCUs new Spider-Man
In this March 24, 2013 file photo, actor Tom Holland, winner of Best Male Newcomer Award appears at the Jameson Empire Film Awards 2013 in London. Sony Pictures and Marvel Studios announced Tuesday, June 23, 2015 that Holland will play Peter Parker/Spider-Man in the next "Spider-Man" film, in theaters in IMAX and 3D on July 28, 2017. The film will be directed by Jon Watts. - photo by Jeff Peterson
The search for a high school-aged Spider-Man to join the Marvel Cinematic Universe is finally over. Marvel and Sony have selected their new wall-crawler, and even though his name might not be familiar to a lot of people, there are some good reasons to be excited about the choice.

In a press release Tuesday, British actor Tom Holland (The Impossible) was named to take over from fellow Brit Andrew Garfield, who played him in two movies beginning with 2012s The Amazing Spider-Man.

This comes after months of speculation following the announcement that Sony would be rebooting the character to appear in the Marvel Cinematic Universe alongside Iron Man, Thor, Captain America and the rest of the Avengers.

Holland, 19, beat out a long list of up-and-coming actors, including Enders Game star Asa Butterfield, who, back in May, was even rumored to have been cast in the role, and Charlie Rowe (Red Band Society) both of them, incidentally, British.

A quick look through Hollands Instagram posts and its easy to see one of the reasons he might have edged out his competition: as a serious dancer-turned-actor, he already has the agility necessary to pull off all the classic Spider-Man moves. His Instagram feed is littered with videos of him demonstrating flips and tricks that make it look like he was practically born to play ol web-head.

One picture (from more than a year ago) also shows his car dashboard with a Spider-Man figurine. Coincidence?

Hes no slouch as an actor, either. His cinematic debut in director Juan Antonio Bayonas 2012 feature The Impossible, opposite Ewan McGregor and Naomi Watts, earned him numerous accolades and was hailed by many as one of the best acting debuts in recent memory. Holland played McGregor and Watts son in the true story about a British family vacationing in Thailand when the Indian Ocean tsunami hit. Summit, which distributed the film, went so far as to campaign Holland as the lead over McGregor during awards season, pushing for him to get a Best Actor nomination at the Academy Awards, according to HitFix.

Before The Impossible, though, Holland got his start as a dancer and then, as an actor, in the West End production of Billy Elliot the Musical, first playing the titular characters best friend, and then, in 2008, taking over the lead role.

His other acting credits include The Way I Live Now, the miniseries Wolf Hall and the upcoming In the Heart of the Sea, about the whaling ship Essex, where he appears alongside Thor Odinsson himself, Chris Hemsworth.

A lot of effort has gone into casting this role. As the third actor to play Peter Parker in the last decade, theres a lot of pressure to get things right.

In the press release announcing Hollands casting, producer Amy Pascal is quoted saying, 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, weve found the perfect actor to bring Spider-Mans story into the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

According to Deadline, Hollands The Impossible director, Bayona, personally lobbied on the young actors behalf to Sony studio head Tom Rothman.

Along with a new Peter Parker, Marvel and Sony also announced a new director. Stepping into the shoes previously worn by Sam Raimi and Marc Webb is Jon Watts, who directed the as-yet-unreleased Cop Car, starring Kevin Bacon, which debuted at this years Sundance Film Festival to extremely positive reviews.

The first new standalone Spider-Man movie is scheduled to hit theaters July 28, 2017. However, Hollands Spider-Man will make his first canonical appearance in next years Captain America: Civil War, which is slated for May 6.
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