Tom Holland calls SPIDER-MAN: NO WAY HOME “not fun” and “brutal”
As reported by Games Radar via Total Film, the Spidey of the Marvel Cinematic Universe himself, Tom Holland, has described the upcoming third film of the MCU series, Spider-Man: No Way Home, in rather… bleak terms.
“…it’s not fun, this film,” the actor said in a new interview. “It’s dark and it’s sad, and it’s going to be really affecting. You’re going to see characters that you love go through things that you would never wish for them to go through.” Holland went on to describe the surefire blockbuster as “the best Spider-Man film that we’ve ever made.” But he then added “I really don’t think fans are at all ready for what they’ve put together. I know that I’m not ready, and I know that it’s going to be brutal.”
To be fair, a charitable reading of the famously loose-lipped star’s buzzy new quotes might suggest that Holland is simply trying to say, however clumsily, that No Way Home will be an effective tonal departure from the breezy tone of Spider-Man’s previous headlining MCU films, 2017’s Spider-Man: Homecoming and 2019’s Spider-Man: Far From Home. One of the prevailing criticisms of those films, and the MCU as a whole, has been over-reliance on quippy comedy.
But speaking just for myself here, Holland’s words don’t strike me as a particularly appealing way to hype a superhero movie, especially a Spider-Man movie. Ever since the early 1960s when Stan Lee and Steve Ditko were creating the very first Spider-Man comics, the character has thrived on a balance of angsty drama with comic relief. I don’t disagree with the notion that the previous Jon Watts-directed MCU Spider-Man films might have been improved if the audience was given more opportunities to sit with what could have been more serious dramatic moments. The MCU mostly just gestures at the emotional stuff.
But as a lifelong superhero lover who came of age when “dark and gritty” were the norm for superhero films (and comics, to an arguably different degree), I shudder to think the pendulum might be swinging from the bright and humorous tone that the MCU made fashionable since 2008’s Iron Man, back to something a little more… Zack Snyder-like. I guess we’ll see how Spider-Man: No Way Home affects the zeitgeist after its December 17th release.