Following the colossal, nigh infinite success of Avengers: Endgame you might expect Marvel Studios to take their foot off the gas and relax.
After all the Avengers have just stopped Thanos destroying the universe while simultaneously destroying all box office records, and if that’s not an excuse for a break I don’t know what is.
Thankfully though for fans of super-powered beings in spandex, Marvel Studios aren’t resting on their laurels and we’re just weeks away (July 2) from the next instalment in the epic Marvel Cinematic Universe, Spider-Man: Far From Home.
According to the official synopsis Far From Home will see Spider-Man must step up to take on new threats in a world that has changed forever following the events of Endgame.
You’ve all seen the trailers though and know that the film will see Peter Parker (Tom Holland) team up with Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) and Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal) to take on some deadly Elementals intent on smashing the best looking landmarks in Europe.
In anticipation of the release though we were lucky enough to be invited to a location so secret, even Nick Fury would struggle to find it, where we spoke to Tom Holland about what fans can expect from Far From Home.
UNILAD: Do you think Peter has grown up during this movie?
Tom Holland: I don’t necessarily think he’s grown up that much, we’re seeing a very similar Peter Parker to the same, sort of version we saw in Homecoming. I really enjoyed in [Homecoming] the aspect of seeing a kid with superpowers and I really wanted that to come across again so while yes there are minor things where you’ll see him look older and more grown up, which I don’t really want to talk about just yet, but you’ll see it, he’s still very much a 16-year-old kid.
UNILAD: What’s surprised you about the sequel?
Tom Holland: The fact that we get to shoot it in London! It’s a nice surprise. The first one was called Spider-Man: Homecoming and they shot it thousands of miles away, this one’s called Spider-Man: Far From Home and I’m 40 minutes from my home.
So that’s been quite nice. I’m actually not staying at my home-home, cos it’s still a bit of a drive to set. The script is huge, huge, massive scale movie and it’s always a pleasure… It’s always nice to know you’re a part of something so awesome, but obviously, the surprise is what the audience wants to see in the cinema.
UNILAD: How do you feel about doing all of your own stunts?
Tom Holland: I don’t do everything, there are some things that I just can’t do and I am very happy for my double to do it if he can do it better. If there’s a version of a stunt where it just looks better with him doing it then he should do it for the sake of the movie.
But sometimes there are things where we can just rehearse it and work really hard. There was one (stunt) that we did today that was way, way more impressive than that (boat jump stunt), we were just able to rehearse it for weeks and weeks before we actually did it meaning that I was able to do it… I love doing my own stunts, it comes with a nice adrenaline rush, um, and if it can make the film better then I’m all for it.
UNILAD: Is there anything about this movie that you’re really excited for fans to see?
Tom Holland: I mean, the action is bigger than the first one for sure. But the film… I’m still getting my head around what I’m allowed to say and what I’m not allowed to say.
But no, it’s definitely bigger than the first one, it’s bigger than the first one and I guess the action from the first one, Peter Parker and Spider-Man were able to keep it quite contained and I don’t feel like it was a worldwide event.
This one happening in the places that it’s happening he’s unable to keep these events a secret and it’s far more globally, sort of known that this is going on, um, so the spotlight really is on Spider-Man whereas in the first one I felt like he was sort of able to go under the radar a little bit which was quite nice.
This one, all the pressure’s on.
UNILAD: Can you talk about the dynamics of Peter working with Nick Fury and also working with Samuel L. Jackson?
Tom Holland: Working with Sam is great, it’s really, really fun and I’ve been such a big fan of his not just since the beginning of the MCU but from very early on in my life.
But yeah, it’s an interesting character to see on screen with Peter Parker cos obviously Peter is so funny and so happy to be around, Nick Fury is so scary – kind of like Robert Downey Jr, just without the sass! So yeah, it’s been a fun ride so far!
UNILAD: For Homecoming you mentioned the bane of your life was the harness, have you finally got rid of the harnesses?
Tom Holland: No! Not at all. I was in the harness all day today, well, most of the day and it’s one of those things you just have to get on with. There’s no, it’s either like you do it and you’re not safe, or you wear a harness and then you’re safe so it’s kind of a price you have to pay.
It hurts your legs but it’s fine, it’s fine! And George and his stunt team are so good at looking after me and making sure I’m as comfortable as I can be in uncomfortable situations so it’s been awesome so far and we’ve got some really, really cool stuff coming up which we’re still rehearsing at the moment.
UNILAD: Can you talk a little bit about the relationship with MJ?
Tom Holland: Yeah, that’s a really cool one, it’s a really exciting one. We get to see in more detail a relationship blossom than we did in the first one with Peter and Liz, it’s been fun, it’s been really fun and MJ’s character is the same as she was in Homecoming, but we’re just exploring it more and I think audiences will really connect with her and I think the way that Zendaya is playing the role will draw you in, the number of people who can relate to her character.
UNILAD: What’s it like working with someone like Jake Gyllenhaal? You seem to be surrounded by veteran actors all the time.
Tom Holland: I’m very lucky with the people I get to work with, I have these meeting with my agents every year. We sit down and we go through a list of actors I’d like to work with and a list of directors I’d like to work with and Jake’s always been on the list – so the fact that we get to do it in this circumstance is so fantastic and he, he’s amazing!
Every actor I’ve ever worked with has like a switch. When they say ‘action’ you can tell that now they’re acting but Jake doesn’t have that. He’s seamless between his characters. Sometimes it’s quite disconcerting like ‘oh he’s just talking to me he’s not doing a scene right now’ and then you’re like ‘oh shit he is doing a scene’ – so it’s been a real pleasure to work with him, I’ve definitely learned a lot.
UNILAD: Do you ever feel like you need to up your game when you’re working with someone like that?
Tom Holland: Well you find that with acting it’s similar to playing tennis. If you play tennis against someone who’s really good you sort of rise up, not to their standard obviously, but you try your best to play better and it’s a similar sort of thing with acting and you’re working with someone who’s that good, it makes you think more about minor details that you’ve made for the character and stuff, you try and piece things together so it’s been a really great privilege so far.
UNILAD: How was it wearing the ‘Stealth Suit’?
Tom Holland: It’s great because I can go to the toilet in that one! It’s really great, I can take my mask off, I can go to the bathroom and it looks so badass, it’s really, really cool.
It’s a really cool one cos it’s such a different avenue to take for the character Spider-Man, you know he wears red and blue and that’s kind of it in the films and for us to take him down this different path, it’s definitely really cool and something the audience will be very, very excited about.
UNILAD: What’s your favourite scene up to now?
Tom Holland: Uh, we shot this very funny scene between Jacob, Zendaya and I – it’s all one shot and it is sort of mid-way through the film and it’s very stressful and it’s just really funny. I can’t tell you anything about the scene because it’s kind of a spoiler, but Jacob is just so funny!
He’s just so funny and I remember Zendaya and I off-camera with Jacob’s close up and we just – we may as well not have been there because we were laughing so much – I just turned around and walked away and was like ‘I’m sorry Jacob you’re just making me laugh so much!’ So yeah, that was my favourite scene to shoot.
UNILAD: Is there a lot of improvisation with that group dynamic?
Tom Holland: Yeah and that’s why Jon is such a great director to work for because he allows you to do a 20-minute take of absolute nonsense but that 30 seconds at the end which is actually really gold is what we use.
So he really does create an environment in where his actors can make mistakes creatively which sometimes directors don’t do and it’s nice that on a film of this scale he’s not afraid to sort of go ‘no no no let’s just do it twenty times and see if we can get it right’. It’s cool!
UNILAD: How’s it been contending with a different kind of villain this time?
Tom Holland: Yeah, it’s interesting! Because when Jon first pitched for the idea I was like ‘Wow! Fighting big Elemental monsters, that’s a big jump from The Vulture’. But it is when you see visually the effects and what they’re planning to do with these monsters it really is quite a breathtaking feat.
I think even Peter Parker has the same thought as what I had when I found out these monsters. He really doesn’t understand what’s going on and it’s not until later that he’s hanging out with Nick Fury and Maria Hill and then Mysterio how they sort of team together to piece together this crazy thing that’s going on. So yeah, it’s definitely an exciting version of a villain.
Spider-Man: Far From Home swings into UK cinemas on July 2
More of a concept than a journalist, Tom Percival was forged in the bowels of Salford University from which he emerged grasping a Masters in journalism.
Since then his rise has been described by himself as ‘meteoric’ rising to the esteemed rank of Social Editor at UNILAD as well as working at the BBC, Manchester Evening News, and ITV.
He credits his success to three core techniques, name repetition, personality mirroring, and never breaking off a handshake.