Can we ask Spider-Man’s Tom Holland about leaving the Marvel Comic Universe or no?
In a confusing move, Keystone ComicCon made an announcement Sunday morning to the packed audience of 2,000 people waiting for Holland’s panel. They said the audience would not be allowed to ask him any questions about the Disney-Sony dispute because “it might mess up any contract discussions that will be announced within the next few days.”
Then interviewers started the panel by asking about the dispute.
Holland gave the same answer he gave at Saturday’s Disney’s D23 Expo, saying that the news was “a bit of a shock,” that he’d done five great movies and he’d continue to be Spider-Man.
Then, despite the warning to the audience not to ask questions about Disney, the panel took no questions at all from the crowd during the 45-minute panel.
"It was kind of odd to be told not to ask about it, but then have them ask it in the interview,” said Nicole Emma, 16, from Berkeley Heights, New Jersey who Tweeted about her displeasure with the announcement. It was her third ComicCon but she couldn’t remember the audience being told not to ask a panelist about a topic before.
“The answer he gave was so scripted, I think they’re still working on it,” she said. “It was almost literally word for word what he said at D23.”
Sony and Disney, which owns Marvel and its Cinematic Universe, announced Monday afternoon that Disney would be ending its partnership with Sony Pictures and that Marvel Studio President Kevin Feige would no longer be involved with the Spider-Man films. While Disney bought Marvel Studios in 2009, but Sony holds the film rights to the Spider-Man character, and they agreed to work together in 2015.
The announcement caused a furor among fans who adored Spider-Man’s appearances in the Avengers movies, including the latest Avengers: Endgame, the best-selling movie of all time. Just last week, Sony announced that Spider-Man: Far From Home is expected to become its highest-grossing film ever.
The remainder of the panel, hosted by two writers from the sports and pop-culture website The Ringer, mainly focused on well-worn Spider-Man questions about putting on the suit for the first time, his favorite Spider-Man suit and what it’s like working with other great actors like Robert Downey Jr. and Samuel L. Jackson.
There was some new gossip. Holland said he’s been a medical disaster lately — he said he hurt his hands a while back doing martial arts training with Robert Downey Jr., then he hurt his stomach muscles trying to do a backflip in a Spider-Man suit that didn’t allow for much flexibility. Recently he’s been doing running and boot camp training to lose weight for his new movie, Cherry, and “just fell over” in a train station and believes he broke something in his foot.
Holland also shared that Jon”Happy” Favreau completely improvised the scene at the end of Far From Home where he’s interviewed about dating Marisa “Aunt May” Tomei. Holland said it was a good thing the camera wasn’t on him because he was dying laughing.
The next Spider-Man installment will be “something very different,” Holland said, possibly paralleling some of the challenges he faces in his own life. No one could get the 23-year-old known for his accidental spoilers to give up any more information.
“I’ve gotten pretty good at this,” said Holland, noticeably thin in black pants and a short-sleeved gray T-shirt. “I will give you nothing!”
After the panel, Holland spent at least four hours signing autographs and taking pictures with fans, some of whom brought props like crowns and tiaras and a “Jake Gyllenhaal fan club” sign (Gyllenhaal was spelled incorrectly and then crossed out, as a joke because Holland has spelled it wrong a few times).
Kayleigh Butler, 30, a probation officer from Manahawkin, NJ, said she’s gone to other conventions, but none with Tom Holland. She said she didn’t even think to ask about the Sony-Disney situation until she was told not do. Then she was surprised when it was the first question asked, particularly when he gave the same answer as was broadcast widely Sunday.