Not all heroes wear capes, but some do wear masks!

By Sydney Bucksbaum
October 04, 2019 at 12:01 PM EDT
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Tom Holland doesn’t just play a hero in the Spider-Man movies. Turns out he actually is a hero in real life as well. At least, he’s a hero to Marvel fans who were gutted when it was announced that Holland’s Peter Parker was no longer going to be featured in the MCU after Disney and Sony couldn’t reach a deal.

When Disney CEO Bob Iger appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live! on Thursday night, he confirmed that after weeks of a standoff, it was actually Holland that saved the Disney/Sony deal, allowing Spider-Man to remain in the MCU. A third Spider-Man movie starring Holland, the sequel to Spider-Man: Homecoming and Far From Homewill hit theaters July 16, 2021, with Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige returning to produce the new film and Amy Pascal once again producing as well. And the cherry on top: as part of Disney and Sony’s arrangement, Holland’s Spider-Man is also confirmed to appear in a future film in the MCU.

So how did Holland play the hero without having to suit up?

“We had an event called D23, which is a big Disney fan event; Tom was there because he’s a voice in a new Pixar movie called Onward with Chris Pratt,” Iger says. “And he said something onstage and it was clear that the fans wanted Tom back as Spider-Man made by Marvel and our Marvel production team.” The executive is of course referring to Holland’s emotional message to fans gathered at the convention, “I love you 3,000.”

“After D23, Tom reached out to folks who worked for me, ‘Could I please have Bob’s email address or phone number?’ Of course I’m very protected and they were very careful,” Iger continues. “I said, ‘Sure, have him contact me.’ And he did. We spoke. Basically he made a… he cried on the phone.”

To which Jimmy Kimmel replies in shock, “Really?!”

And Iger quickly responds with a laugh, “No, not really. But it was clear that he cared so much and actually we care a lot about him. He’s a great Spider-Man. I actually felt for him, and it was clear that the fans wanted this to happen. So after I got off the phone with him I made a couple of phone calls to our team at Disney Studios and then I decided to call the head of Sony and I said, ‘We gotta figure out a way to get this done.’ For Tom and for the fans. And we did. That’s how it happened. He called me and I called them.”

Iger adds, “You know what happens sometimes companies when they are negotiating or people when they’re negotiating with one another, they kind of forget that there are other folks out there who actually matter, and that was the case here. There’s a whole Parker family out there.”

News of the new Disney/Sony Spider-Man deal broke at the end of Sept. with both Holland and his costar Zendaya celebrating with memes on social media. Meanwhile, the producers each released statements.

“I am thrilled that Spidey’s journey in the MCU will continue, and I and all of us at Marvel Studios are very excited that we get to keep working on it,” Feige said. “Spider-Man is a powerful icon and hero whose story crosses all ages and audiences around the globe. He also happens to be the only hero with the superpower to cross cinematic universes, so as Sony continues to develop their own Spidey-verse you never know what surprises the future might hold.”

“This is terrific. Peter Parker’s story took a dramatic turn in Far From Home and I could not be happier we will all be working together as we see where his journey goes,” Pascal said. “This has been a winning partnership for the studios, the franchise and the fans and I’m overjoyed it will continue.”

We can all thank Holland for that.

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  • 07/02/19
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  • Jon Watts
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