Tom Holland finds himself entangled in yet another “scandal.” That’s right, fans are clasping onto any reason to show hatred towards Tom Holland… again. Recently, the video game developer Insomniac Games, owned by Sony, has announced that they have changed the face of Peter Parker for Spiderman Remastered. They have replaced John Bubniak, whose face was used for the PS4 version, with Ben Jordan for PS5. Yuri Lowenthal, who voiced him in the PS4 game, however, will remain the voice of Peter Parker. W
hat does this have to do with Tom Holland? Well, that’s a complicated question. Literally speaking, Holland had nothing to do with this change, as he had no executive decision in making this replacement. However, there was still an uproar on Twitter regarding this decision because fans were concerned this new face looked too similar to Tom Holland… too similar to the actor who currently plays Spiderman.
This way of thinking from these “fans” is problematic for a number of reasons. According to an article on Gadgets 360, the actual developer for Spiderman Remastered released a statement saying that they believed Jordan’s face was a “better match” to Lowenthal’s “facial capture.” Insomniac’s creative director even took to Twitter to say that changing Peter’s look had more to do with “delivering even more believable-looking characters.” This means that Insomniac’s decision wasn’t based on anything to do with Tom Holland, but let’s say it did.
Let’s say they wanted the face of this Peter Parker to have more of a resemblance to that of Tom Holland’s. What would be wrong with them changing the face to look more like the actor who currently plays Spiderman? Tom Holland is literally the face of Peter Parker right now; he’s now played Peter Parker in five films, more than Tobey Maguire (three) or Andrew Garfield (two). In that case, it seems like the only reason people would be upset over this slight Tom Holland resemblance is if they were to have issues with Tom Holland himself.
Let’s look at Tom Holland’s dirty laundry list. Recently on Holland’s social media, he’s shown support to the Black Lives Matter movement. Referencing the video that surfaced after George Floyd’s death, he said, “whenever a video like this emerges, apologists for police brutality are wheeled out to explain… Nothing excuses this. Absolutely nothing…” Holland’s parents founded an organization called The Brothers Trust, in which his family uses his platform to shed light on smaller organizations and charities that need more support and donations. Wait — that sounds like someone I would love to support, someone who cares about basic human rights and goes out of their way to help others.
This video game controversy isn’t the first time Holland has received hate. In fact back in February, an article on Screenrant talked about an interview Holland had with IGN. In this interview, Holland was asked who he’d bring back to life out of Tony Stark, Uncle Ben, Peter Parker’s parents, and Gwen Stacy. He said he’d pick Tony Stark, stating, “I love working with Robert so much and if I could do another day with him, I would.” After hearing this fans were very upset, questioning why he wouldn’t choose Uncle Ben. This was actually an ironic thing to be upset about considering these same fans claimed they didn’t want another spiderman origin story (after Garfield’s portrayal of Spiderman). Since Holland’s Spiderman films never included Parker’s origin story, out of all the choices, Tony Stark is the only character who is actually in Holland’s films. Also, Uncle Ben’s passing is a crucial turning point for Peter Parker’s character development.
What is it about Holland that has people so agitated? Well Maria Flores, a third-year at Whittier College, suggests, “. . . they are too attached to the ‘original’ [Spiderman] played by Tobey Maguire, so they are probably just clinging onto that.” Another third-year at the College, Fionna Tejada, had a similar assumption, saying, “I think it’s mainly just because people can’t let go of the other [Spiderman actors] . . .in my opinion, [Holland] is the best one out of all, but he looks like a high schooler, and his energy is so great. He works so hard. Also, there’s something to say about the fact that he grew up a fan of the franchise, and I love that so much.”
I personally couldn’t agree more with these two. As someone who has been a fan of Spiderman for as long as I can remember, Tobey Maguire’s portrayal of Spiderman will always have a special place in my heart. With that being said, however, I fell in love with the character, not the actor. I fell in love with Peter Parker and Spiderman, and what he represented. Peter Parker is this nerdy and awkward kid — relatable — who goes through this tremendous loss and yet he’s able to hold strong so he can continue to be our friendly neighborhood Spiderman. This gives us hope. This tells us that our tragedies don’t have to define us and that, despite them, we can still be something great. Tom Holland does a phenomenal job of showing this in his films. In both Avengers: Infinity War and Avengers: Endgame, Holland’s acting moved me to tears, and I’m not really one to cry at movies — even the sappy ones.
Maybe people should stop trying so hard to “stay loyal” or look like a “real fan” by giving hate to Tom Holland; it’s just not cool anymore. It’s one thing to have a different opinion on who you believe played Spiderman best — if your answer is Andrew Garfield, you’re wrong — but it’s another to send hate and project onto an unproblematic person reprising a role.
Featured Photo: Courtesy of Playstation via Youtube