In a recent profile for GQ, Oscar-nominated producer Amy Pascal teased that she wanted Holland for the part of Astaire in the forthcoming movie, as well as another trilogy of “Spider-Man films.” But during an interview with AP, at an event promoting the upcoming “Spider-Man: No Way Home,” Holland confirmed that he’ll step into the entertainer’s dance shoes for the project, which is still in its early stages.
“The script came in a week ago,” Holland told reporters. “I haven’t read it yet; they haven’t given it to me.”
Pascal has received the script though, Holland noted. “She FaceTimed me earlier. I was in the bath,” he said with a laugh. “And we had a lovely FaceTime, but I will be playing Fred Astaire.”
News that Holland will take on the persona of the iconic song and dance man comes as little surprise, given his own background as a performer. Holland began his acting career on the London stage, playing the title role in Billy Elliot the Musical on the West End from 2008 to 2010.
Then there’s the now-viral clip of Holland performing on “Lip Sync Battle” in 2017, where he sang and danced to a mashup of “Singin’ in the Rain” and Rihanna’s “Umbrella.” Sure, that number was Gene Kelly’s showcase in the 1952 musical, but it certainly got the point across that Holland’s dance skills were undeniable.
Touted as the one of the greatest popular music dancers of all time, Astaire starred in more than 30 film musicals, in addition to his stage career on Broadway and the West End over the course of a seven-decade career. Astaire is usually remembered for his pairings with Ginger Rogers, who starred in several films with him, including the classics “Swing Time,” “The Gay Divorcee” and “Top Hat.”
The Holland-starring movie is not the only Fred Astaire project in the works at the moment. Jamie Bell (who coincidentally originated the role of Billy Elliot in the Oscar-nominated 2000 movie) will play Astaire opposite Margaret Qualley’s Ginger Rogers in an upcoming movie from Amazon Studios and Automatik. Bell and Qualley will also produce the biopic, which traces the dance duo’s partnership, starting with “Flying Down to Rio” in 1933 and ending with “The Barkleys of Broadway” in 1949.
Until it’s time to suit up as Astaire, Holland is focused on his latest outing as Peter Parker in Sony and Marvel’s “No Way Home,” his seventh appearance as the web-slinging superhero...