Tom Holland has become one of the world’s most famous actors in just a few short years. The Spider-Man actor’s fame has only grown since his MCU debut in Captain America: Civil War. The young megastar’s third solo Marvel film, No Way Home, is about to hit theaters. And without a doubt, the excitement is high.
Tom Holland as Peter Parker has been linked to some of the biggest names in Marvel Studios’ monster franchise ever since he first appeared on the screen. Spidey’s solo story has relied heavily on Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark, played by the actor. The death of Tony Stark in Avengers: Endgame was a defining emotional moment for the character of the wall-crawler. An essential part of the MCU’s history was handed down to one of its brightest future stars. And fans will see this as the series continues to grow. Did RDJ ever impart any wisdom to Holland, other than a few words of wisdom, in the real world? We now know for sure that’s exactly what happened.
During an appearance on the Youtube show Hot Ones, Tom Holland revealed that RDJ gave him and his younger brother “the original Iron Man helmet” in 2018.
Holland revealed that he and his younger brother, Patty, we’re treated to a private screening of Black Panther with rapper RDJ prior to the release of the film. As soon as Patty came running into the room holding the helmet, Downey [gave] it to him as a gift, a symbol that was not lost on the young actor mentioning that to have that souvenir…from the original [MCU] film…is a tremendous honor:
“My favorite souvenir was actually given to me. Well it wasn’t given to me, it was given to my little brother Patty. When Black Panther was coming out, Robert Downey Jr. was making Dr. Doolittle in London, he was staying down the road from where I live. He invited us to a screening of Black Panther at his house.
When Patty came running into the room, and he’s holding the original Iron Man helmet, and Downey had given it to him as a gift. That’s a really special one for me because I was lucky enough to join the MCU but I joined it very late. And that souvenir, that’s from the original film, that’s the birthplace of this incredible world that Kevin Feige and Marvel have created. Ya know, and Favreau and Downey kickstarted. So to have something from that film is a huge honor.”
Symbolism cannot be overlooked in this case, and it’s encouraging to hear that Tom Holland gets it. RDJ had to know what he was doing. Even if it was his younger brother who had Iron Man’s original helmet, he needed to see what Holland would become in the MCU.
When Downey Jr. stepped down in 2018, it felt like Holland’s Peter Parker was the next heir apparent to carry the torch for the MCU for more than a decade. Even though Spider-Man: Far From Home dealt with this issue head-on, it can’t be easy for Tom Holland to carry the weight of the expectation placed on him.
At that moment, it must have meant a lot. And it probably still means a lot to receive that kind of goodwill gesture from the grandfather of all MCU superheroes. The actor for Spider-Man can look over to that shelf with the OG Iron Man symbol and know that RDJ assumed he was ready for this whenever he feels down or unworthy of the Marvel Studios crown.