Tom Holland shot to fame playing the youngest version of Peter Parker and his masked alter ego Spider-Man seen in live-action films so far. During his first solo movie, Spider-Man: Homecoming, he was a high-school student, and he remained one throughout his multiple appearances across the MCU, ending with Spider-Man: Far From Home.
And this, Tom Holland believes, is what gives his take on the character an edge over Tobey Maguire's version in the classic Spider-Man trilogy from the early 2000's. Those are considered the gold standard when it comes to films about Spidey, the first two anyway, and Holland's movies are often compared to them. Commenting on the difference between the two Peter Parkers during an interview in response to a fan question about why his Peter is more foolish and naive than Maguire's, Holland revealed his thoughts on the matter.
"Because it makes me more interesting, I guess, It gives me more room to grow. If you start out a badass, there's nowhere to go."
It is certainly true that the character growth for Holland's Spider-Man has been much more gradual. He keeps making mistakes in one movie after another, and learning from them to become a better hero. But it can be argued that the MCU's Spider-man was allowed this luxury because he had the entire team of Avengers to fall back on for support, particularly Tony Stark.
Tobey Maguire and his Spider-Man never had the chance to risk making a mistake with the knowledge that there were other heroes who could catch him if he fell. That is why he had to grow up much more quickly and mature into a hero within the span of a single film.
Taking this line of thought to its natural conclusion, it can further be argued that Holland's Spider-Man is much less competent than Maguire's. After all, Maguire's Spider-Man never had Stark technology to support him while taking on The Green Goblin, Doctor Octopus, or The Sandman. All he had was his powers and his presence of mind.
On the other hand, Holland's Spider-Man was perpetually struggling to break away from Tony Stark's shadow, something he still had not completely achieved by the end of what looks to be his final film set in the MCU. That makes it difficult to see the current Spider-Man as his own hero instead of simply one of the younger Avengers or worse, Iron Man's sidekick.
Now that live-action Spidey has made the shift back to Sony and away from the MCU, it remains to be seen whether the new standalone-film-universe that he will be heading will allow him to get away from the shadow of The Avengers and become his own man. After all, as fun as it is to see Peter get up to all sorts of teen hijinks in school, there is a wealth of storylines about the older Peter Parker from the comics that fans also want to see brought to the big screen. This news comes from GQ.