Mr. Heartthrob himself at the ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ press conference in Seoul.
Disney fans have a new favorite in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Sorry Robert Downey Jr., guys named Chris and all you ladies — there’s a new king of the Marvel stars, and he’s just getting started.
Tom Holland, aka Peter Parker, aka the Spider-Man, got the loudest screams at the D23 Expo on Saturday, period. No one will convince me otherwise, and if you argue I won’t hear you anyway, because my ears are shattered, blown, ringing incessantly.
The biannual Disney event always brings its biggest stars to the convention center in Anaheim, California, for a quick stage appearance before a look at its upcoming films. Marvel Studios stuck the big finale on Saturday, when it showed an astounding reel of footage from Avengers: Infinity War.
To celebrate the event, MCU mastermind Kevin Feige began introducing the cast, and brought out just about everyone. One by one they came: Thanos (Josh Brolin), Dave Bautista (Drax), Paul Bettany (Vision), Elizabeth Olsen (Scarlet Witch) … pretty much the whole crew except Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and Captain America (Chris Evans).
Benedict Cumberbatch showed, and got a pretty loud roar, no surprise there.
Winter Soldier (Sebastian Stan) came toward the end, and holy air horns, Batman! Who knew people like ol’ Bucky that much? It was some serious skull-splitting stuff, easily the biggest scream of the weekend …
… until Spider-Man arrived.
Now, I realize that Tom Holland just opened Spider-Man: Homecoming, he’s the shiny new object in the MCU. People want to give him a warm welcome.
But I am telling you folks, this was not your average whoop of celebrity exultation. This was Beatlemania.
My colleagues and I ducked down and covered our ears until it was over (and it wasn’t over soon enough). It was the sound of thousands of people, most of them with youthful, high-pitched voices, utterly losing control. Not just screaming. Losing. Control.
Ladies and gentlemen, Ton Holland, the 21-year-old song-and-dance-man from Kinston upon Thames, U.K., all 5-foot-8 of him, is the most popular actor that Marvel has at the moment. My newly inflamed tinnitus and I are living, ringing proof.
Anthony Mackie gets an honorable mention here — his hearty scream came after Holland’s, as did a decent one for Chadwick Bozeman, which was nice too — but the noise they made for Holland was unequivocally the loudest, longest and kinda-scariest.
In other screaming-as-a-measure-of-popularity news, Chris Pine got the biggest response at the earlier Wrinkle in Time panel, which featured Reese Witherspoon, Mindy Kaling and Oprah Freakin Winfrey, for crying out loud. But none of them was in Wonder Woman.
Might be time to update those Chris rankings after all.