The New Spider-Man: Sony and Marvel Bet Big on Tom Holland

The New Spider-Man: Sony and Marvel Bet Big on Tom Holland

Amazing Fantasy #15
Marvel Comics
By Andrew Lumby

After much speculation and debate, Marvel has finally revealed who will play Peter Parker in its next Spider-Man reboot — and it’s not a name you’ll be likely to recognize: 19-year-old Tom Holland.

Who? Exactly.

Significantly more cherubic than the last two stars cast in the role — Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield — Holland appeared in the 2012 movie The Impossible and had a stint in the title role of the London production of Billy Elliott. Now he’ll be the web-slinging superhero, starting with a relatively small role in next year’s Captain America: Civil War and then in an as-yet-unnamed Spider-Man movie.

Marvel had said they would be casting someone more in line with Spidey’s actual age. In the comics and films, Parker is ostensibly an 18-year-old high school senior, but Maguire was 27 when he first donned the mask, while Garfield was 28.

Related: Sony Spins a New Spider-Man Strategy with Disney

The very fact that Marvel was able to cast anyone in the role at all was thanks to a protracted negotiations with Spider-Man’s cinematic rights-holder, Sony. Finally clinching this deal allows Marvel to bring have Spider-Man play his pivotal and necessary role in Civil War, a comic-book story arc adored by critics and fans alike.

But as much as fans might have riding on Holland’s Spider-Man, Marvel and Sony are counting on him even more: They’re effectively betting hundreds of millions of dollars on the little-known actor, and hoping he can breathe new life into a franchise that, while is generated $1.5 billion in U.S. box office sales and about $4 billion worldwide, has seen dwindling returns over time.

The first Spider-Man movie starring Holland is slated to be released on July 28, 2017.

Spider-Man (2002): $403,706,375

Spider-Man 2 (2004): $373,585,825

Spider-Man 3 (2007): $336,530,303

The Amazing Spider-Man (2012): $262,030,663

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014): $202,853,933

Chart of the Day: Long Way to Go on Coronavirus Testing

Healthcare workers with ChristianaCare test people with symptoms of the coronavirus in a drive-thru in the parking lot of Chase
Jennifer Corbett
By The Fiscal Times Staff

The White House on Friday unveiled plans for a new effort to ramp up testing for Covid-19, which experts say is an essential part of limiting the spread of the virus. This chart from Vox gives a sense of just how far the U.S. has to go to catch up to other countries that are dealing with the pandemic, including South Korea, the leading virus screener with 3,692 tests per million people. The U.S., by comparison, has done about 23 tests per million people as of March 12.

After Spending $2 Billion, Air Force Bails Out on Planned Upgrades of B-2 Bombers

The B-2 Spirit stealth bomber flies over the Missouri Sky after taking off from the Whiteman Air For..
© Hyungwon Kang / Reuters
By The Fiscal Times Staff

The Air Force has scrapped a planned upgrade of its B-2 stealth bomber fleet — even after spending $2 billion on the effort — because defense contractor Northrup Grumman didn’t have the necessary software expertise to complete the project on time and on budget, Bloomberg’s Anthony Capaccio reports, citing the Pentagon’s chief weapons buyer.

Ellen Lord, the undersecretary of defense for acquisition and sustainment, told reporters that the nearly $2 billion that had already been spent on the program wasn’t wasted because “we are still going to get upgraded electronic displays.”

Big Hurdle for Sanders’ Plan to Cancel Student Debt

Chip East / REUTERS
By The Fiscal Times Staff

Bernie Sanders wants to eliminate $1.6 trillion in student debt, to be paid for by a tax on financial transactions, but doing so won’t be easy, says Josh Mitchell of The Wall Street Journal.  

The main problem for Sanders is that most Americans don’t support the plan, with 57% of respondents in a poll last fall saying they oppose the idea of canceling all student debt. And the politics are particularly thorny for Sanders as he prepares for a likely general election run, Mitchell says: “Among the strongest opponents are groups Democrats hope to peel away from President Trump: Rust Belt voters, independents, whites, men and voters in rural areas.”

Number of the Day: $7 Million

NY mayor cites climate stance in endorsing Obama
By The Fiscal Times Staff

That’s how much Michael Bloomberg is spending per day in his pursuit of the Democratic presidential nomination, according to new monthly filings with the Federal Election Commission. “In January alone, Bloomberg dropped more than $220 million on his free-spending presidential campaign,” The Hill says. “That breaks down to about $7.1 million a day, $300,000 an hour or $5,000 per minute.”