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Wall-crawling superhero looks to steal hearts in China

Time:2017-09-07   Source:China Daily


Spider-Man actor Tom Holland meets fans in Beijing at a promotional event for the new film Spider-Man: Homecoming, which will release across Chinese mainland theaters on Friday. [Photo provided to China Daily]
 
In Marvel comic books, Peter Parker is a New Yorker. But should the famed character, also known as Spider-Man, not have a New York accent? The answer is complicated.

Thanks to globalization, an English actor is the latest Spider-Man on the silver screen. And, he was recently in Beijing to visit the Great Wall.

There is more. The wall-crawling hero also traveled to other landmarks, which are featured in an anthology of posters titled Beautiful China.

In the posters, released by the Chinese promoters, he is seen surrounded by pandas, standing with the Terracotta Warriors, ornamented guards buried with China's first emperor more than 2,000 years ago.

When Spider-Man actor Tom Holland alongside director Jon Watts showed up at a promotional event in Beijing on Monday, the display of the posters tailored for the Chinese mainland market sparked excitement.

Spider-Man: Homecoming, the sixth Spider-Man movie in history, will open across the Chinese mainland in multiple formats, including Imax 3-D, on Friday, about two months after many other parts of the world.

So far, the movie, with Holland reprising his Spider-Man role from Captain America: Civil War, has raked in $740 million across the world.

The 133-minute movie also features Michael Keaton, Robert Downey Jr., reprising his role of Iron Man, and Jon Favreau, director of two Iron Man movies, playing an assistant of Iron Man, in the new movie.

The latest movie is more like a coming-of-age story about the superhero in high school.


Spider-Man actor Tom Holland meets fans in Beijing at a promotional event for the new film Spider-Man: Homecoming, which will release across Chinese mainland theaters on Friday. [Photo provided to China Daily]
 


Spider-Man, the comic character, was created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko in the 1960s, and has spawned around 10 TV shows and six movies, including this newest one.

Watts says Homecoming is different from the previous versions.

"Don't tell Batman, Superman or Captain America. For me, Spiderman is the greatest superhero. He also likes every one of us. He is the most relatable hero," says the 36-year-old US filmmaker.

Holland, who has a number of Chinese fans thanks to his first Spider-Man movie, echoes his view.

"The thing that makes the character so likeable and so loved is that he is relatable. You know, he is the kid next door. He is the high school student who wants to work hard and do his homework. He is just a regular guy. I think that's why I've enjoyed playing him," says the 21-year-old actor.

Vulture, the villain, also seems like the guy next door. A one-time New York salvage company owner, and the father of Parker's love interest, he becomes a criminal after his business is taken over by a government organization.

Speaking about the movie, Holland says: "Jon's idea is that if a regular kid can become a superhero, then a regular man can become a super villain.

"Unlike the villains of the past, he is not an alien, a billionaire or an undercover agent from a nasty organization. He is just a regular guy with troubles, which give audiences a reason to feel sympathetic to him, and to understand why he is doing bad things," adds Holland.

Speaking about the action sequences, Watts says the crew built the real-size replica of a ferry for the disaster scene.

He says the funny moments as well as the action scenes will likely appeal to Chinese audiences.