Tom Holland pitched a James Bond film but turned it into Uncharted instead

Spider-Man wanted to play 007, but even in this prequel-obsessed age nobody wanted a Bond origin.

Richard Trenholm Former Movie and TV Senior Editor
Richard Trenholm was CNET's film and TV editor, covering the big screen, small screen and streaming. A member of the Film Critic's Circle, he's covered technology and culture from London's tech scene to Europe's refugee camps to the Sundance film festival.
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Richard Trenholm
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Tom Holland in black tie

He looks good in evening wear, but Tom Holland's license to kill was refused.

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Last year closed out with two series-capping blockbusters in two of the most iconic franchises of all time: The current era of the James Bond films came to an end with No Time to Die, and Marvel's comic hero served up a billion-dollar hit with Spider-Man: No Way Home. Spider-star Tom Holland wanted to swing from one to the other, pitching himself as a young James Bond -- but when that didn't work, the idea planted the seed for an Uncharted movie.

Speaking to Total Film, Holland revealed he'd suggested a 007 origin story to movie studio Sony, in which he'd play a younger version of the super-spy. "It didn't really make sense. It didn't work," Holland admits. "It was the dream of a young kid, and I don't think the Bond estate were particularly interested."

But according to Holland, this conversation led them to another hero whose backstory he could explore: Nathan Drake from the Uncharted video game series. In the games, Drake is much older, but in the forthcoming film, Holland plays a younger version of the character as he sets out on the path to becoming the grizzled adventurer known by gamers. Uncharted, also starring Mark Wahlberg, opens in UK cinemas Feb. 11, in Australia on Feb. 17 and in the US on Feb. 18.

It's good to know that in this prequel-obsessed climate of reboots and origin stories, the producers of the Bond films weren't drawn to a backstory reboot for the suave superspy. Because, let's face it, it would be lame. Daniel Craig's first 007 film, Casino Royale, already showed us a younger and rougher Bond, and nobody wants to relive the frankly baffling 90s cartoon James Bond Junior. 

No Time to Die, Craig's last film as Bond, is out on DVD and Blu-ray now, while Spider-Man: No Way Home is the biggest hit of the pandemic.

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