Tom Holland Before SPIDER-MAN: Homecoming

Move over Tobey (Maguire) and Andrew (Garfield), there’s a new Spidey in town! And by “new”, we mean new! Spider-Man’s colors may be red and blue, but Tom Holland, the newest actor to bring our friendly neighborhood Spider-Man to life, is pretty green. What we mean by this is Tom Holland’s credited film roles only go back to 2011, with his first live action film role in 2012 – which means, yes, he’s been acting – on screen – for 5 years!

To celebrate 5 years on the silver screen and his newest movie, we’ve compiled a list of 10 places you can visit to get a glimpse of a young(er) Tom Holland’s journey in becoming who many have called the only Spider-Man that matters and (if it’s not too taboo to cross from Marvel to DC) the Spider-Man we both deserve and need right now.

10. Billy Elliot The Musical

“But how is he so good having only been acting 5 years?!?” We understand your question; we’re right there with you, or we were until we learned that before he made his feature film debut, he was a STAR on [essentially London’s version of] Broadway! From the age of 11 through just shy of his 14th birthday, Tom Holland portrayed the title character in Billy Elliot the Musical which follows the story of a young boy who trades his boxing gloves in for a tutu. So before we jump into feature film roles, we need to talk about this. Let us first say that stage acting. is. hard. You don’t get a “CUT!” and a second chance – you get one, no redo’s until the next LIVE performance, so you know from just that, Tom Holland is GOOD. You can find clips of Holland’s run as Billy on YouTube.

9. Arrietty (Certified Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes, with 7.6/10 on IMDB)


Holland’s debut, which you probably saw some version of, is Japanese Animation film Arrietty (In Japan: 2010, UK dub: 2011, US dub: 2012). From Studio Ghibli (Princess Mononoke, Kiki’s Delivery Service), Arrietty tells the story of the Clock family, “four-inch-tall people who live anonymously in another family’s residence, borrowing simple items to make their home.” When their daughter, Arrietty, is discovered by “big person” Shō, everything changes. Tom Holland stars as Shō in the UK English Dub of Arrietty.

secret world of arrietty

8. The Impossible (certified fresh on Rotten Tomatoes, with 7.6/10 on IMDB)

His on-screen debut is in The Impossible (2012), which along with Tom Holland, stars Naomi Watts and Ewan McGregor as “a tourist family in Thailand caught in the destruction and chaotic aftermath of the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami.” Holland portrays the eldest son, Lucas, who is forced to face far more than any 12 year old should. For this, he “won universal praise from critics and several awards such as the National Board of Review Award for Breakthrough Performance and London Film Critics Circle Award for Young British Performer of the Year.”

Image result for the impossible tom holland

7. How I Live Now (6.5/10 on IMDB)

How I Live Now (2013), a post-apocalyptic film adaptation of the 2004 novel of the same name, tells the story of “an American girl [Daisy] sent to the English countryside to stay with relatives, finds love and purpose while fighting for her survival as war envelops the world around her.” Holland portrays Isaac, Daisy’s cousin. While all magic isn’t lost in the film adaptation, unfortunately Isaac seems more interesting in the book, although he did speak less than in the movie, as he could telepathically communicate with animals… but I digress.

Image result for how i live now isaac

6. Moments (7.9 on IMDB), also Tweet (7.6 on IMDB)

Moments (2013) is a short film with a runtime of only 3 minutes 55 seconds starring Tom Holland as “a young man saying his last goodbyes to his girlfriend, talking about the moments they shared together.” Watch it on YouTube.

Tweet (2015) is another short, which stars his real life family as themselves, featuring Tom Holland as both actor and director. Tweet has a runtime of only 3 minutes 9 seconds and tells the story of a young boy who “visits his Grandfather”, and “they build a birdhouse.”

Since these are such short productions, only running 3 to 4 minutes each, we combined them as one and can’t disclose too much information on either; but you are encouraged to watch them both on YouTube to get a glimpse of Tom Holland’s more “indie” work, as well as his hand at directing.

5. In the Heart of the Sea (6.9/10 on IMDB)

From the director of Apollo 13 and A Beautiful MindIn the Heart of the Sea (2015) is “a recounting of a New England whaling ship’s sinking by a giant whale in 1820, an experience that later inspired the great novel Moby-Dick.” Starring Chris Hemsworth (Thor, Civil War), we learn that Captain America: Civil War where Tom Holland as Spider-Man made his debut appearance was not the first time the actors have worked together. Tom portrays, fittingly, Tom – Thomas Nickerson is a 14 year-old boy who signs on as the ships cabin boy. 30 years later, an old Thomas Nickerson is approached by author Herman Mellville offering to pay Tom for his story as he is the ship’s only survivor; the story he tells, in flashbacks, is the bulk of the movie.

4. Captain America: Civil War (7.9/10 on IMDB)

First, if you haven’t seen Captain America: Civil War (2016), stop right now – go watch it. We’ll wait… … …You good? GOOD. Now that you’ve seen it, we’ll proceed. In Civil War, Captain America and Iron Man face off against each other, with the rest of the Avengers and the not-yet-Avenger Spider-Man forced to align themselves as #TeamCap or #TeamIronMan. It’s so much more an Avengers movie than a Captain America-specific movie, but I digress. Tom Holland makes his debut as the 3rd “modern” incarnation of the character, and he totally rocks it as Peter Parker/Spider-Man! At the end of the movie, after the second post-credits scene, a message pops up and promises that “Spider-Man will return.” Not “Captain America will return,” and since this is supposed to be a Captain America movie, that says a lot for our new Spidey! The collective nerd world has been waiting ever since.

Related image

3. Edge of Winter (5.2/10)

“When two brothers are stranded by a brutal winter storm with an unpredictable father they barely know, the boys begin to suspect their supposed protector may be their biggest threat.” In this thriller Edge of Winter (2016), Tom Holland portrays older brother Bradley (15), who together with his younger sibling Caleb (12), gets to know his father for who he truly is.

2. The Lost City of Z (6.9/10 on IMDB)

The Lost City of Z (2016) is “a true-life drama, centering on British explorer Col. Percival Fawcett, who disappeared while searching for a mysterious city in the Amazon in the 1920s.” Tom Holland portrays Jack Fawcett, Percival’s oldest son who goes with his father on his expedition.

1. Pilgrimage (6.2/10 on IMDB)

“In 13th century Ireland, a group of monks must escort a sacred relic across an Irish landscape fraught with peril.” Pilgrimage is an “Irish medieval thriller” which stars Tom Holland as The Novice – Brother Diarmuid. The film premiered at the Tribeca Film Festival in April and is scheduled for general release this August. So technically, you can’t legally see this film until after Spider-Man: Homecoming, but since it premiered prior, it’s on the list. On the plus side, you have something to look forward to!

Which of these have you seen, and what did you think? HOW PUMPED ARE YOU ABOUT SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING? If you enjoyed this post, please share it. If you’d like to write your own post on Nerdy Minds Magazine, contact us at and connect with us at or!

Comments? Questions?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

Create a website or blog at

Up ↑

%d bloggers like this: