Former Wimbledon pupil is the new Spider-Man
A former pupil of Donhead Preparatory School and Wimbledon College is the new Spider-Man. Tom Holland, who attended the Jesuit college in South West London until 2012, will take over the role of Peter Parker who becomes the Marvel superhero when the latest film hits cinemas in 2017.
The producer of the new Spider-Man film, Amy Pascal, described Tom as “the perfect actor to bring Spider-Man’s story into the Marvel Cinematic Universe,” saying that they needed “a vibrant, talented young actor capable of embodying one of the most well-known characters in the world”.
At 19 years of age, Tom is four years older than the character in the origin comics; but he is younger than previous cinematic portrayals: Tobey Maguire who was 26 and 27-year-old Andrew Garfield. Coincidentally, Garfield is starring as a 17th-century Portuguese Jesuit in the forthcoming Martin Scorsese film Silence, based on Shûsaku Endô‘s novel of the same name.
Screen tests were 'special'
While at Wimbledon College, Tom Holland made his West End debut in Billy Elliott, first as Billy’s friend, Michael, and then in the title role. Fr Adrian Porter SJ, who was the Headmaster of Wimbledon College at the time, said that he was down to earth and did not let his growing fame affect his approach to school. "He did take part in school productions but they were minor roles due to his acting commitments," said Fr Porter who remembers Tom as a "really nice boy - a regular pupil - who was approachable and related well with other pupils and staff."
On leaving Wimbledon College, Tom attended the BRIT School for Performing Arts and Technology and went on to star with Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor in the film The Impossible, about the Indian Ocean tsunami of 2004. More recently, he has been seen in the role of Gregory Cromwell (Thomas’s son) in the BBC Two drama Wolf Hall.
Announcing Tom Holland’s new role of Spider-Man, Tom Rothman, the Chairman of Sony Pictures Motion Pictures Group said: “We saw many terrific young actors, but Tom’s screen tests were special. All in all, we are off to a roaring start.” Adrian Laing, the current Headmaster of Wimbledon College, said Tom's new role was well-deserved and passed on his congratulations - on behalf of the school - to the new Spider-Man.