Tom Holland has been Spider-Man ever since Captain America: Civil War first introduced audiences to the MCU version of the wallcrawler back in 2016. Now it looks like Disney has someone else in mind when it comes to the red and blue tights. A recent copyright filing for several of Marvel’s upcoming Phase 5 Disney+ projects reveals that when it comes to the highly anticipated Spider-Man: Freshman Year animated series, Hudson Thames will be voicing the arachnid-themed hero, and not Tom Holland.
Hudson Thames will replace Tom Holland in Marvel’s upcoming Spider-Man: Freshman Year animated series.
Believe it or not, this won’t be the first time that Thames has replaced Tom Holland as the Amazing Spider-Man. Thames also voiced the character for a single episode of Marvel’s 2021 animated What if…? series. Normally, it’s common practice for someone—ahem—cheaper to voice the animated version of a live-action character.
For a brief time in the ’90s, there was a Dumb and Dumber cartoon, an Ace Ventura cartoon, and an animated version of The Mask all on TV at the same time, and every one starred a voice actor trying his hardest to sound like Jim Carrey.
Tom Holland’s absence from Hollywood may well have been the deciding factor when recasting the role of Spider-Man.
But while that may be the standard practice everywhere else, Marvel usually tries to have its actors voice their animated counterparts whenever possible. Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Tom Hiddleston, Paul Bettany, Michael B. Jordan, and even the late Chadwick Boseman all lent their voices to What If…?.
The only notable holdouts besides Tom Holland were Robert Downey Jr., who gave the animated version of Iron Man over to Mick Wingert to voice, and Chris Evans, who was replaced in animated form by Josh Keaton.
The big difference between the examples above and Tom Holland, however, is that RDJ and Chris Evans had both left the MCU following Avengers: Endgame and weren’t still under contract with Disney by the time What If…? was being made.
Tom Holland, on the other hand, allegedly inked a new deal with Marvel Studios and Sony Pictures in 2022, assuring that he would be returning as Spider-Man in future projects. So why isn’t Holland voicing Ol’ Webhead in the new Spider-Man series?
There are a couple of possibilities. One is that Hudson Thames—while an excellent talent in his own right—almost certainly commands a smaller salary than Tom Holland, star of some of the most successful Marvel movies in the history of the MCU. It’s not exactly a secret that Disney is experiencing some money troubles as of late, and saving a few million by getting a Tom Holland impersonator rather than Holland himself is just a smart business decision.
This won’t be the first time that Thames has replaced Tom Holland as the Amazing Spider-Man. Thames also voiced the character for a single episode of Marvel’s 2021 animated What if…? series.
The other, even more likely reason is that Tom Holland announced back in June that he would be taking a brief sabbatical from acting—around a year or so. Given that the copyright filing is dated September 9—well after Holland announced his break—the actor’s absence from Hollywood may well have been the deciding factor when recasting the role of Spider-Man.
Spider-Man: Freshman Year serves as a prequel to the Tom Holland live-action Spider-Man movies and will explain how the MCU version of Spider-Man got his powers, lost his Uncle Ben, and became the goofy hero we all know and love.