In 2019, Tom Holland shaved off his signature locks for a role in a new project, stunning fans everywhere with the sight of his freshly buzzed head. Two years later, the world will finally see the Holland in the role that required such a dramatic transformation. But if the trailer for Cherry is any indication, Holland’s haircut is the least intense aspect of this film.
Cherry, an Apple Original film, sees Holland take up the role of a troubled young man known as Cherry whose young adult years are marked by various personal struggles. The main character doesn’t see his life as particularly extraordinary, even after meeting the love of his life (Ciara Bravo), and Cherry’s search for more leads him to join the Army. But combat proves to be more of a challenge than Cherry expected it to be, sending him down a dark path of opioid addiction and trauma. When he returns back home, PTSD and all, our protagonist is a totally different person.
Post-service, Cherry begins engaging in criminal activity, fueling his energy into becoming a career bank robber. He gets good at it over time, even developing a signature move for each robbery: alerting bank tellers of his intentions via a note scribbled onto a single dollar bill. It’s thrilling, but at the same time, it’s a cry for help — Cherry is struggling.
“I don’t imagine that anyone goes in for a robbery if they're not in some kind of desperation," he explains, breaking fourth wall mid-robbery. "I've been at this awhile now, and it's no secret what my face looks like."
The film is an adapted of the eponymous semi-autobiographical book written by Nico Walker. Walker's own life is the inspiration for the tale that we’ll be seeing in the Apple TV+ production, and his real life circumstances might offer a spoiler as to how Cherry ends; the novel was penned while Walker served an 11-year prison service in a Kentucky prison. After it became a New York Times best-selling novel in 2018, the rights to Cherry were acquired by the Russo Brothers (Marvel Cinematic Universe staples), and the pair cast Holland in the lead role.
Just like in the 2020 movie The Devil All the Time, Cherry will see Holland delivering a dark and nuanced performance that moves him further away from the lovable role in which we first encountered him in. For the Russos, the forthcoming film is one of Holland's best, a reminder that he's got range that extends beyond playing Peter Parker.
"We needed an actor who could bring [the audience] along emotionally on a journey," Joe Russo told Entertainment Weekly of his leading man. "And there are very few actors who can do that like Tom Holland."
"Tom is playing a character who makes some self-destructive choices, but he's so charismatic and likable," Russo continued. "It was important for us that the audience go on a journey with him when he makes those choices."
Cherry will hit select theaters on February 26, but the gritty crime drama will also be available for streaming only on Apple TV+ starting March 12.