Tom Holland may have made his stage debut in 2008 with Billy Elliot the Musical, but the British actor really hit the big time when he signed on to play Spider-Man in Kevin Feige’s massive Marvel Cinematic Universe. Even without his classic spidey suit and mechanical web shooters, Holland is a real-life superhero, and his talent is high-level negotiation with multi-million dollar entertainment corporations. The only catch? He might need a few drinks to make it happen.
During a recent episode of Jimmy Kimmel Live!, our current Spider-Man (sporting an eye-catching new haircut) shared his hidden skill. He first discovered his powers when he learned the soul-crushing news that his character Peter Parker would soon be pulled away from the MCU as a result of a failed deal with Sony Pictures.
Earlier this year, Sony and Disney, which owns Marvel Studios, were in talks about extending their relationship; Disney wanted Sony to sign on to a co-financing deal that would grant them a 30% stake, and Sony declined. As a result, Sony quickly pulled Spider-Man from the MCU, leaving fans concerned that the trajectory of the webbed Avenger’s storyline would be blown off course after the 2019 summer blockbuster Spider-Man: Far from Home.
Enter Holland, beer in hand. He revealed that he stepped in to save the negotiations from falling by the wayside. An earnest email to Bob Iger, Disney’s CEO, opened the door, but it was an inebriated phone conversation during a trip to the pub that really got the ball rolling.
“I’m like three pints in, haven’t eaten much, and I get a phone call from an unknown number,” said Holland on the show. “And I think it’s Bob Iger, but I’m drunk.”
“I was really emotional,” Holland continued. So emotional, in fact, that he may have shed a few tears on the phone. “I felt like it was all coming to an end...It would have been a shame to remove [Spider-Man] from the MCU because we’ve built such a strong character in that world.”
That phone call led to several others, with studio heads from both Disney and Marvel consulting Holland for his opinion. Finally, to the glee of comic book fans everywhere, the companies were able to come to an agreement, and Spider-Man was restored to his rightful place among the Marvel heroes (sans Iron Man, of course).
It is not the most practical strategy, but a very effective one nonetheless. We'd expect nothing less from the amazing Spider-Man.