Meet your new friendly neighborhood Spider-Man: Sony Pictures and Marvel Studios announced Tuesday that Tom Holland will play the title role in the next film about the web-slinger.
The hero’s next adventure won’t swing into theaters until 2017, which gives us plenty of time to study up on the actor playing the next incarnation of Peter Parker. Here are five things to know about him:
He’s got moves
The British-born Holland got his big break when he was spotted by a choreographer while performing with his dance school at a 2006 festival. Eight auditions and two years of training later, he made his debut in the West End production of Billy Elliot the Musical as Michael, Billy’s best friend, before later moving into the main role.
Here’s an adorable video from 2009 of Holland talking about playing Billy:
He’s already done The Impossible…
After finishing his run in Billy Elliot the Musical in 2010, Holland landed his first film role alongside Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor in The Impossible, about a family caught in Thailand during the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.
In a 2013 interview with EW, Holland recalled auditioning for the role of Lucas, who fights to save his mother (Watts) after the disaster strikes. “It’s a scene basically where we’re on the tree [after the tsunami] and I was asking my mum to promise that she wouldn’t die. So it was pretty hefty stuff,” he said. “Later, [director Juan Antonio Bayona] asked me to write a letter or improvise something basically saying goodbye to my mum. And I started reciting it and I started crying. Like crying my eyes out. He told me while shooting, that from that moment he knew that I was going to be Lucas. But he still decided to put me through three or four more brutal auditions.”
…and shared screen time with Thor
Holland has already crossed paths with another Marvel hero. He stars alongside Chris Hemsworth in Ron Howard’s upcoming In the Heart of the Sea, out in theaters this December.
Locking down Spider-Man wasn’t easy
Marvel and Sony’s announcement noted the studios and execs were wowed by his performances in The Impossible, In the Heart of the Sea and his role on the TV miniseires Wolf Hall, but that wasn’t enough — he also went through “a series of complex screen tests” to land the part.
But he has no trouble with backflips
Last, but certainly not least…if these stunts he posted on Instagram are any indication, he won’t have any trouble swinging around as Spidey.