They call it liquid courage for a reason. Bob Iger revealed a few months back that the Spider-Man deal between Disney and Sony was saved after Iger got on the phone with Tom Holland. What Iger didn’t know is that Holland was drunk at the time of their conversation.
Holland said he was “three pints in” while doing an evening of pub trivia with his family when he got the call from a number he didn’t recognize.
“I get a call from an unknown number, and I have a feeling, I think this is Bob Iger … but I’m drunk,” Holland told Jimmy Kimmel on Wednesday night’s “Jimmy Kimmel Live.” “I’m like, ‘Hey Bob, I’m so glad you called. What was the question? When did ‘Snow White’ come out? 1944? 1944, write that down.” (It actually came out in 1937.)
Holland didn’t actually recruit Iger for his trivia team, but he confirmed that he did get “really emotional” on the call and even wept. Fortunately it was not his last call with him or with Sony chief Tom Rothman, and they ultimately found a way to make things work.
“It was really interesting for me to have these two studio heads, ‘What do you think?’ ‘I don’t know, I’m an actor,'” Holland said of their conversation. “I was really emotional because I felt like it was all coming to an end.”
To be clear, Holland’s tenure as Spider-Man wouldn’t have come to an end should Disney and Sony never made up. And he was optimistic about the future of the character, even if it meant it wasn’t part of the MCU.
“We had a really good plan for what we were going to do with him. The future of Spider-Man was still very bright, but it would’ve been a shame to take him out of the MCU. We built such a strong character in that world, and it would’ve been a shame to lose that,” Holland said.
To back up and explain how we got here, shortly after the release of “Spider-Man: Far From Home” in July, we got word that Spider-Man would no longer be a part of the MCU, that Disney and Sony could not reach an agreement to continue sharing the character across franchises.
Holland then appeared at D23, Disney’s convention in Anaheim, and he recalled being unable to formally pose in Marvel cast photos with other actors who were present because he wasn’t technically part of the team anymore. After speaking on stage on behalf of his upcoming Pixar film “Onward,” he managed to email Bob Iger, truly just with the intention of thanking him for the last five years of work. But him reaching out was the spark that set everything in motion and eventually helped patch things up between the two studios.
“I saved Spider-Man,” he said. Alright, we’ll give the kid credit.
Watch Holland on Kimmel above.