Tom Holland has confirmed that development on Spider-Man 4 has halted due to the writers strike.
While the Marvel Cinematic Universe has been providing diminishing returns lately, most fans can agree that the various Spider-Man movies have remained a highlight of the entire franchise. Tom Holland may very well be the best actor to ever suit up in the red and blue spandex, and after the success of No Way Home, fans remain hyped for Spider-Man 4. Unfortunately, those fans may need to put the hype on hold: as reported by Variety, Holland confirmed that production of the film has been shut down by the ongoing writer’s strike.
“I can’t talk about that, but I can say that we have been having meetings. We’ve put the meetings on pause in solidarity with the writers…There’s been multiple conversations had, but at this point it’s very, very early stages.”Tom Holland
Tom Holland’s update about Spider-Man 4 is certainly disappointing, but we can’t say that it is exactly surprising. For one thing, the actor is simply echoing what the film’s producer, Amy Pascal, had already confirmed. For another thing, other upcoming MCU films have also been delayed by the strike, including Blade (which already had a host of behind-the-scenes issues even before the strike) and Thunderbolts, a film about supervillains doing dangerous jobs on behalf of the government (just call this Marvel’s answer to the Suicide Squad).
For what it’s worth, Tom Holland confirmed that Marvel hadn’t gotten very far into the production of Spider-Man 4 yet. At this point, he said they had only really been having meetings to help plan out the movie far ahead of actual filming. However, they have ceased holding these meetings in solidarity with the striking writers.
Talking about solidarity with the writers may just be a bit of easy public relations, but Tom Holland’s statements about ceasing production on Spider-Man 4 may indicate a bit of tension between Kevin Feige’s MCU and Disney. Previously, Disney generated fan pushback by sending a letter to showrunners and telling them to continue non-writing duties rather than cease work in solidarity with the writers.
It’s possible that Spider-Man 4 was so early into production that it’s impossible to do anything that isn’t considered writing, but it’s also possible that Feige has realized that pausing production in solidarity gives the studio a free PR bump and more time to plan.
“More time to plan” is likely crucial here as we are still waiting on the outcome of Jonathan Majors’ legal battle and to see whether he will remain in the MCU as Kang the Conqueror. The MCU Spider-Man films have often been built around what happens with the Avengers (such as Vulture being a blue-collar guy screwed over by Tony Stark after the 2012 Chitauri attack).
In short, it may be impossible for Tom Holland and the rest to properly plot Spider-Man 4 without knowing what will happen with Majors and Kang (since he is meant to be the next Big Bad for the Avengers), so having an excuse to pause production may have been a real blessing.
Like all fans, we’re mostly hoping that this delay means that Tom Holland’s upcoming Spider-Man 4 will be as memorable and inventive as the preceding films in the franchise. In a franchise where sequels often blend together (Thor: Love and Thunder, for example, couldn’t shake the goofiness of Ragnarok even when it needed to be serious), we love that each cinematic adventure of Spider-Man is unique. Face it, tiger…from the casting to the writing and directing, we just hit the jackpot with this franchise.