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Tom Holland calls Cherry “one of the toughest roles I’ve ever had to play”

Tom Holland in Cherry
(Image credit: Apple)

How do you follow-up the highest-grossing film of all time? For Avengers: Endgame directors Anthony and Joe Russo, it’s time for something completey different. After wrapping the Infinity Saga, they’re reteaming with their Spider-Man, Tom Holland, for Cherry, a genre-hopping romantic drama/war movie/crime caper set against the backdrop of the US’s opioid crisis.

Adapted from the semi-autobiographical novel by Nico Walker, Cherry follows the eponymous protagonist as he goes through the ringer, from dropping out of college, joining the army, returning with PTSD and becoming addicted to opioids, turning to robbery to fund his addiction.

Below, you can see an exclusive image of Tom Holland in Cherry, taken from the upcoming feature in the new issue of our sister publication Total Film magazine, which goes in-depth on the making of film with Holland, the Russo brothers, and screenwriters Angela Russo-Otstot and Jessica Goldberg. Check it out:

Tom Holland in Cherry

(Image credit: Apple)

“I was doing ADR for Avengers: Endgame, and Joe and Anthony took me aside, and told me that they’d bought the rights to this book,” Holland tells Total Film. “They were planning on making it. They wanted me to play the lead. They didn’t really tell me anything about it. I just said, ‘Look, guys, the fact that you’re even offering me a role, let alone the lead, means the world to me.’ They had every single actor at their fingertips, and I was lucky enough that they chose me.”

Holland goes on to call it “one of the toughest roles I’ve ever had to play”, given the extremes that Cherry faces. The Russo brothers’ last four films have been in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but it wasn’t difficult for them to choose a follow-up. “After we took a breath, after we were coming out of that movie, somebody had given us a book,” Anthony Russo tells Total Film. “We read it. I think that sort of cleaned up all the questions in our brain about how to move forward, and what to do next.”

It was a story that resonated personally with the brothers. “[Nico Walker] grew up in a lot of the same neighbourhoods that we did,” says Joe Russo of their Cleveland connection. “He was about 10 years younger than us. I actually worked at the same restaurant that he worked at.” They witnessed the effects of the drug crisis first-hand. “Ohio is a bit of a ground zero in the opioid war,” adds Joe.

Cherry launches on Apple TV+ on March 12. For much more from Tom Holland and the Russo  brothers, pick up a couple of the new issue of Total Film magazine when it hits shelves (real and digital) this Friday, February 5. Check out the new covers below, as revealed by Jared Leto:

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(Image credit: Warner Bros/Total Film)