The casting of Tony Revolori as Flash Thompson in Spider-Man: Homecoming led to some debate about the actor’s ability to pull off being a bully. However, as Tom Holland pointed out in a recent interview, bullying isn’t all about beating people up for their milk money anymore.

Holland, who spent some time enrolled in an New York City high school while preparing for his role as Peter Parker, made note of how the stereotypical bully may have gone the way of Neaderthal. “It was so interesting because New York high schools are so different to the ones I went to in London,” said Holland of his experience.

More recently, in an interview with Short List magazine, Holland expanded on that statement, saying “American high schools are so different to British ones. Bullying wasn’t really a thing, so when they cast Flash Thompson they knew they didn’t need a 6ft 5in jock to beat Peter Parker up. They needed a rich, smug kid commenting on how bad his trainers were.

One of the things that this version of Spider-Man seems to be paying great attention to is modernizing the teenage life of Peter Parker. Through diversifying the cast and updating archetypes, Marvel Studios and Sony are doing their best to make this a much more authentic adaptation of what life would be like for a teenager in NYC in 2017. It is precisely for this reason that an actor like Revolori is perfect for the role. By casting him, they have not only moved as far away from the previous iterations of the jock-bully Flash as possible but also moved the character considerably closer to the one Stan Lee wrote in 1963. In many of the early issues of Spider-Man, Peter rarely found himself pinned up against a locker or being beaten up by Flash; far more often, he found himself the target of Flash’s “puny Parker” and “bookworm” taunts while barely holding back from unleashing the full range of his powers on Thompson.

I’m very excited about the modernization of things and look forward to what Revolori brings to the table as Parker’s longtime antagonist. I also look forward to what the future holds for Revolori’s Flash because we all know that his character could follow quite the arc of the course of several films. How do you feel about the changes made to the traditional Spider-Man character?

Source: Short List via