AppleTV+ has just released Cherry, their new movie starring Tom Holland, and they’re not ready to let the young star go yet. Now, Deadline reports that the 24-year-old actor has signed on for a new series for the streaming service. The Crowded Room is going to feature characters living with mental illness. The first season will have ten episodes. It’s said to be an anthology series, so if it earns a season two, it’s likely someone else will be taking the lead role.
In this ten-part first season for The Crowded Room, Tom Holland will be playing Billy Milligan. The series is going to take inspiration from the biography of Billy Milligan, as written by Daniel Keyes. Billy Milligan was the first person to be acquitted of a crime due to dissociative identity disorder, previously known as multiple personality disorder. Milligan has 24 recorded personalities. After kidnapping and raping three women, he woke up in a jail cell unaware of what had happened. Between the many personalities and the darker experiences of Milligan’s life, The Crowded Room is going to be a different project than we’ve seen the actor star in previously.
This may be part of what has appealed to Tom Holland about the role. It’s a challenge for an actor to take on a role where they play multiple parts. We’ve seen this in the past in projects like Dollhouse, where the characters had their memories wiped. Otherwise, this is typically an experience actors get on projects that explore dissociative identity disorder. Examples of this include the 1976 movie Sybil starring Sally Field or the Toni Collette series The United States of Tara.
Tom Holland’s The Crowded Room is being written by Akiva Goldsman. While he’s been responsible for projects like Batman & Robin and Cinderella Man, his most relevant experience here was writing the movie A Beautiful Mind. The 2001 movie starred Russell Crowe. The story was based on a real person, John Nash, and told the story of his life as he learned to deal with mental illness. The movie won Best Picture at the Oscars and has been considered an example of a story that handled mental illness well.
Between the challenging material and the acclaimed writer behind the project, it sounds like Tom Holland is looking to level up his abilities in Hollywood. According to Deadline, he has also signed on as an executive producer for the project. This will be his first time working as a producer.
Though Tom Holland is young, he’s establishing himself quickly as a name to notice. His work as Spider-Man for Marvel has already been fairly prolific, appearing in five films so far. He’s made it sound as though he’ll continue in that role for as long as he can. It sounds like he knows he doesn’t want to end up typecast, though, and when he does stop playing Spider-Man he shouldn’t have any trouble finding other work.
When Tom Holland finishes filming the current Spider-Man installment, he’s said to be moving on to working on Uncharted, a video game adaptation. The release date for that has changed a few times but should be coming in February 2022.