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Posterized: The still-young career of Tom Holland

by Nathaniel R

With Spider-Man Far From Home owning the holiday weekend, the just turned 23 year old Tom Holland is back in the spotlight. He's already been a professional actor for 11 years, starting with a West End production of Billy Elliott in 2008, where he first played Billy's best friend and later graduated to the lead role to rave reviews. His first gig in front of cameras (The Impossible, 2012) also prompted critical superlatives and he was well on his way to major stardom. We were rooting for him from then on and knew he would be the perfect Spider-Man before he was cast. Thankfully, the MCU made a good decision there and the rest has been history.

So let's take a trip back through his shortcareer via movie posters. How many of his 12 key screen projects (11 features and one major television event) have you seen? The posters are after the jump...

Act 1 Introducing Tom Holland
THE IMPOSSIBLE (2012) principal role as the son of Ewan McGregor & Naomi Watts
HOW I LIVE NOW (2013) supporting role
WOLF HALL (2015) supporting role
IN THE HEART OF THE SEA (2015) supporting role
CAPTAIN AMERICA: CIVIL WAR (2016) extended cameo of sorts... but what an introduction! He was beloved as Spidey immediately
EDGE OF WINTER (2016) principal role as the son of Joel Kinnaman

Act 2 Household Name Status via the MCU 
(but the talent suggests that'll continue after he hangs up the Spidey-tights )

THE LOST CITY OF Z (2016/2017) act two supporting role as the grown son of Charlie Hunnam
PILGRIMAGE (2017) supporting role
SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING (2017) His first true leading man role.

AVENGERS: INFINITY WAR (2018) supporting role
AVENGERS: ENDGAME (2019) supporting role
SPIDER-MAN: FAR FROM HOME (2019) the lead

Act 3... what's next?
So, 12 films into his career, though his face has occassionally been a small element of a movie poster, Hollywood has yet to use his famous mug to brand the films or lure audiences. One wonders when they'll go there since he's now very well liked and familiar. Or has Hollywood finally accepted that they've allowed fictional characters and franchises alone to be the "star" of movies? 

At any rate he's hotly in demand now (sorry but we've been dying to use those photshoot gifs above --His Spidey-sense was tingling about that practical effect on the shoot.)

Holland does voicework for three upcoming animated features: Spies in Disguise (2019), The Voyage of Doctor Dolittle (2020) and Pixar's Onward (2020) so we might not see his face onscreen for another year. Sometime in 2020 he'll return with face for the promising sounding sci-fi project Chaos Walking (2020) which he's already shot and which was co-written by Charlie Kaufman (!!!) and directed by Doug Liman (who is hit and miss but when he hits, we get action classics like The Bourne Identity and Edge of Tomorrow). After that who knows but there are two announced projects as well including Cherry (2020), a drama from his Avengers directors Joe & Anthony Russo and the video-game adaptation Uncharted (supposedly Christmas 2020) so if those stay on course, they're his next live-action projects. In both cases he's a lead without a mask, so his face will presumably finally be used to sell a movie.

Once this intense Spider-ManAvengers promotion year wraps up his schedule will likely loosen up a bit. We wouldn't be half surprised to see him take a quick supporting role or two in adult dramas that won't take up too much of his time. Or better yet, a film musical, to capitalize on his dance training... though that would require more of a time investment. Those two things are what we would be looking for for him if we were in his management team both to remind people what a tremendous versatile actor he was from the jump and that there is so much more to him than franchises. The time is right to diversify because by the mid 2020s he'll be in the prime age range for A list male leads of any genre.

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Reader Comments (19)

I think he has potential to be a big star outside of the MCU. He does drama, has great comedic timing, and can even sing and dance thanks to his work on the stage. He just needs to break free from the mask whenever possible.

July 5, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterMatthew St.Clair

one [the impossible]

he's adorable....and hopefully still will be after he's finished with all that marvel schlock

July 5, 2019 | Unregistered Commenterpar

I hope he doesn't get stuck in these blockbusters. He was so impressive in his debut in The Impossible. He seems to be a very versatile actor, so I'd like to see him do a musical or something comedic.

July 5, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterRaul

Tom has so much charisma and charm. He's going places. He gives me young Albert Finney vibes.

July 5, 2019 | Unregistered Commenterbrookesboy

I remember liking him in The Impossible but that’s about it. I just can’t get that excited about someone who spends that much time working for Marvel. It’s boring me for me as a viewer. Plus I’m not into twinks. But hey people seem to really like him so who the hell cares what I think?

July 5, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterJohn

So far, all of the films of the MCU!!!! plus The Impossible (which he was great in) and The Lost City of Z (an extremely underrated film).

July 5, 2019 | Unregistered Commenterthevoid99

I love that last moment in the impossible - on the plane ride home - when he and Naomi Watts share a silent exchange. It's so moving to me - he had quite a lot of emotional depth as a young actor.

July 5, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterJEM

I've seen six- 'The Lost City of Z" should have been a bigger hit.

July 5, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterJaragon

The Impossible and The Lost City of Z.

I'm enjoying his bromance with Jake Gyllenhaal. It's kind of hot. The both read gay to me.

July 5, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Sue

He’s adorable and very talented. Kind of like early Eddie Redmayne before method acting turned him into Stephen The Danish Girl, a role(s) he can’t seem to shake.

July 5, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterPam

Outside Marvel, ITHOTS and a very impressive turn in The Impossible. He has the charms and the looks and the chops to be a big star.

July 5, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterForever1267

I've seen 9. Wow. Anyways, he definitely impressed me in THE IMPOSSIBLE and was hoping he'd win Spider-Man role which he did.

I vote for a musical! I'm forever putting it out to the universe a DIRTY DANCING gender-swapped remake where Tom plays Baby and Zendaya plays Johnnie. GIVE THIS TO ME NOW.

July 6, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterRyan T.

I find him very likable as opposed to odd men like Jake and Bradley.

July 6, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterTom Ford

I find him to be quite bland when it comes to acting, personality and looks. I don't think he has to offer that much more to film than what we have already seen, but I'd be glad to be proven wrong.

July 6, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterKl

Yes, he was great in THE IMPOSSIBLE (better than Naomi who was Oscar-nommed) and I was surprised by how much I enjoyed HOW I LIVE NOW. He has constantly been either the best or among the best bits about all the Marvel movies he's been in - when he's actually allowed to be Peter Parker. The SPIDER-MAN movies are not good when they're in action spectacle mode, but Holland as Parker is great. Makes me wish he had've made a couple of fun youth movies like how Kirsten Dunst as BRING IT ON.

July 6, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterGlenn Dunks

I care not a jot for superhero movies - don't get me started, actually - so I haven't seen him in anything other than The Impossible. He was so good in it and I hope he'll eventually wrest free of the Marvel thing in favor of more interesting projects.

July 6, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterRob

So bored with snobs. You can enjoy both "Spider-Man" and "Citizen Kane," you know.

July 6, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterIan


Or you can just not enjoy things that you don't enjoy.

July 6, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterRob


Exactly. A "snob."

July 7, 2019 | Unregistered CommenterIan

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