If there’s one phrase that can define what we’re hearing about the live-action cinematic future of Tom Holland’s Spider-Man, it would be “mixed signals.” On one hand, we’ve heard from Sony producer Amy Pascal that after next week’s Spider-Man: No Way Home, Holland will be getting ready to do three more Spider-Man films. On the other, Holland himself is implying he may want to leave acting behind altogether. Now, the Peter Parker actor is hinting again that he may want to say goodbye to Spidey and for a new reason: diversity.
Speaking to the Associated Press while promoting Spider-Man: No Way Home, Tom Holland hinted at the possibility of stepping away from the role of Marvel’s favorite webhead. The actor said that while he loves the Marvel hero role and that it’s changed his life for the better, that he wants to do “what’s best for the character.” Holland said, “[I]f it is time for me to step down, and the next person to step up I’ll do so proudly. You know I’d love to see a more diverse Spider-Man universe and that would be really exciting.” You can see the interview below.
While Tom Holland doesn’t specifically say that he’s rooting for an actor from an underrepresented community to take over the mantle from him, it certainly seems like he’s implying it. One possibility is that he’s hinting at the live-action introduction of Miles Morales to the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU). Shameik Moore voiced the character in 2018’s Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse and will return to the role in the upcoming Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse — Part One, but the MCU still has no live-action counterpart.
Another possibility is Gwen Stacy. Voiced by Hailee Steinfeld in the animated Spider-Verse films and with the codename Spider-Woman — while being rebranded as Ghost-Spider in the comics — the super-powered Gwen Stacy is nonetheless usually called Spider-Gwen. Just like Miles, we have yet to see a live-action Spider-Gwen. In fact, while Bryce Dallas Howard played Gwen Stacy in 2007’s Spider-Man 3 and Emma Stone played her in both of the Andrew-Garfield-led Amazing Spider-Man movies, Stacy is thus far completely missing from Tom Holland’s Spider-Man saga.
It’s not out of the realm of possibility that we could see the Miles Morales Spider-Man or Spider-Gwen in No Way Home. There have been no rumors of such appearances, but in the source material both characters originate in universes outside the prime Marvel continuity. Considering how much the Multiverse will factor into No Way Home, nothing’s out of bounds. We wouldn’t necessarily bet on seeing Spider-Ham or Spider-Man Noir but hey, it could happen.
Whether or not it’s the last time we see him in the role, Tom Holland will make at least one more appearance as Peter Parker/Spider-Man when Spider-Man: No Way Home premieres next Friday, December 17. No Way Home is directed by Jon Watts from a script by Chris McKenna and Erik Sommers. The film stars Tom Holland, Zendaya, Benedict Cumberbatch, Jon Favreau, Marisa Tomei, J.K. Simmons, Willem Dafoe, Alfred Molina, Jacob Batalon, Jamie Foxx, Benedict Wong, Tony Revolori, Rhys Ifans, and Thomas Haden Church. And as long as that list is, there’s so many rumors and so much speculation about who else might show up, that we might not have room for all the names.