Even since the nineteen-year old Tom Holland was announced as the first official Marvel Cinematic Universe Spider-Man it's been hard not to feel a little bit sorry for Andrew Garfield.
When Garfield first took over from Tobey Maguire it wasn't such a shock as the The Amazing Spider-Man reboot was picking up the Spider-Man mythos a full five years after Spider-Man 3 concluded the Sam Raimi trilogy.
When the deal with Sony and Marvel went through earlier this year and it was announced that the Amazing Spider-Man was dead and the character would return a mere year later - two years after The Amazing Spider-Man 2 - and Garfield would not continue to reprise his role in the MCU it took a while for the ex-Spidey to speak up, and when it did it was at during an emotional on-stage interview:
"I didn't actually make it. I was never Spider-Man. I was the actor that I am. The person that I am. Struggling with trying to match up with something that I'd elevated so high in my mind. Elevated beyond what I could attain, what I could achieve. The great thing is, that's what Peter Parker was doing as well. Peter Parker created this symbol that he couldn't live up to. It was never enough. He never felt enough, and I never felt enough. I never felt like I was able to do enough... And it was especially important because that character has always meant so much to me."
When Garfield was first announced as the Amazing Spider-Man back in 2010 Garfield seemed like a really good choice, not least because of his lifelong love of Spidey and the passion he brought to the role. Indeed his performance was one of the facets that The Amazing Spider-Man received the most praise for.
But we all know how this tale ends. The sequel, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, received poor reviews and when the rights deal was struck Garfield was replaced by a younger actor for the MCU. Tom Holland will make his premiere appearance as the web-slinger in next year's [Captain America: Civil War](tag:994409).
As a result of all this turnaround there's a lot of pressure on the shoulders of the new Spidey, for both the studio and Holland himself. And regardless of what some may view to have been a raw deal, Garfield has dealt with the whole situation in an admirable manner, heaping nothing but praise upon the newcomer:
"It feels lovely, especially because Tom Holland is a really, really great actor. He was in this movie The Impossible and he was just this incredibly powerful, sensitive, just wonderful young actor. And [he's] a dancer, so his body’s the right [form]."
Garfield seems to have come to terms with what he described as his failure to fully embody Spider-Man, saying now that he's happy to not have the pressure on him to perform as the beloved character and expressing enthusiasm towards seeing Holland take up the role.
"I’m just really excited to just be a [Spider-Man] fan again as opposed to bearing the weight of it."
Spider-Man co-creator Stan Lee has also expressed his opinions on the casting, demonstrating faith in Marvel Studios that they've picked the right actor:
"[Tom Holland] seems good to me, I can't see anything wrong with him. I don't know him intimately, in fact I've never seen him! But if [the studio] picked him I'm sure he's good."
Lee went on to emphasise Spider-Man's importance in the MCU, describing him as the "mainstay of the whole thing, the big one. Spider-Man is a big gun!"