Tom Holland has broken Spider-Man fans’ hearts, appearing on the main stage at Disney’s D23 Expo after a “crazy week” and telling the audience: “I love you 3000.”
The British actor’s character is at the centre of an ugly studio battle between Sony Pictures and Disney, who have failed to reach an agreement about the screen rights for Marvel character Spider-Man. That may mean the end for Spider-Man as part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe – at least for now.
Although the Spider-Man story hit the headlines in the run-up to the Expo, Holland still attended the event thanks to his lead role in the studio’s new animation Onward, co-starring Chris Pratt and Julia Louis-Dreyfus.
Addressing the big Spider-Man shaped elephant in the room, he said: “It’s been a crazy week, and I love you all from the bottom of my heart, and I love you 3000.”
“I love you 3000” is, of course, a now-iconic phrase from Avengers: Endgame. The line comes (spoiler alert!) as a posthumous message from Tony Stark to his daughter, an echo of something she once told him about how much she loved him.
Sony Pictures owns the rights to Spider-Man, but a previous deal with Disney-owned Marvel Studios was struck several years ago which allowed the superhero to appear in Marvel movies – and Marvel characters to appear in Sony’s standalone Spider-Man movies.
Holland later expressed optimism about the future, pledging to continue playing Spider-Man.
“Basically, we’ve made five great movies,” Holland told EW. “It’s been five amazing years. I’ve had the time of my life. Who knows what the future holds? But all I know is that I’m going to continue playing Spider-Man and having the time of my life. It’s going to be so fun, however we choose to do it.
“The future for Spider-Man will be different, but it will be equally as awesome and amazing, and we’ll find new ways to make it even cooler.”