There’s a story making the rounds about new Spider-Man actor Tom Holland visiting the set of Warner Bros.’ Suicide Squad. The actor apparently hung out for a bit on the set of the DC comics adaptation and had a picture snapped with actor Joel Kinnaman, who plays Rick Flagg in the David Ayer film. He’s got a bandoleer and is brandishing a huge machine gun. He looks like he’s having a lot of fun. It’s not a big deal and it shouldn’t be made out to be one.
Except it is being painted that way.
Actors visit sets of other productions all the time. So do directors, writers, producers, etc. For as glamorous as it all may seem to those of us on the outside, at the end of the day, these people are just at work. Sometimes they drop in on other productions just because they get the opportunity to do so. Sometimes they do it because they have a buddy who works there.
Daniel Craig, Daniel Radcliffe, Roger Moore, and who knows who else all visited Star Wars: The Force Awakens while it was in production. Arnold Schwarzenegger attended the premiere party for The Monster Squad back in the day to chill with his pal Stan Winston. Occasionally I drop in at my old high school because my father is a teacher there. It’s no big deal.
Tom Holland, an actor now under contract with Marvel, visiting the set of an in-production DC comics adaptation is not taboo. He’s not being a moron or committing some awful faux pas. He’s not a traitor to Marvel Studios. This isn’t the Cold War. It’s not like he’s selling secrets to the Soviet Union or SPECTRE. He’s just an actor getting the opportunity to hang out on another film set.
The only way this becomes a “thing” is if we as film journalists decide to make it one. Tom Holland isn’t the one who looks bad here when we “catch him” on a DC film set and wag our fingers at him. We’re the ones who look bad. We are the ones trying to start a controversy. We are the ones perpetuating a ridiculous DC vs. Marvel feud. It’s akin to yelling at a McDonald’s employee for eating at Wendy’s on his lunch break. Not only is it ridiculous, but it’s just plain rude.
When I look at that picture above, I don’t see Spider-Man cheating on Marvel with Rick Flagg & DC. I see a kid who’s excited about his new station in life and the opportunities it is throwing his way, from a bright future as Marvel’s official cinematic Spider-Man to the simple perks of being able to just chill on someone else’s set as both a film fan and a colleague.
Lay off the kid, people. The only one who looks like a jackass in this scenario is you.