Playing any super hero is a young man’s game, but that’s especially true of Spider-Man. In decades of Marvel comics, he’s been a guy in high school, or college, or grad school; even today, he’s maybe a guy who’s about 30 years old at the absolute oldest. So the actors who play Peter Parker tend to age out of the role way quicker than a lot of their colleagues. (Sam Jackson is still going strong as Nick Fury at age 72.) As a result, the Spider-Man franchise has churned through three different live-action Spideys in less than 20 years.

It may almost be time for a fourth. Tom Holland’s contract to play Marvel’s Spider-Man ends with next month’s Spider-Man: No Way HomeHolland has previously said that “if they want me back I’ll be there in a heartbeat” to make more movies. But now he seems a lot less sure of his future as a superhero. Speaking to GQ, Holland strongly hinted that he is nearing the end of his run as the character. As he put it, it may be time to “move on”. He added:

‘Maybe what’s best for Spider-Man is that they do a Miles Morales film. I have to take Peter Parker into account as well, because he is an important part of my life,’ he says. But also: ‘If I’m playing Spider-Man after I’m 30, I’ve done something wrong.’

Holland is currently 25, which means he could make one more Spider-Man movie before he’s doing “something wrong” in his estimation; maybe two if he really pushes it. But that would be it.

Tobey Maguire’s last Spider-Man movie came out when he was 32; Andrew Garfield retired when was 31. So Holland quitting around his 30th birthday would pretty much be in line with his predecessors. But then it becomes a question of what Marvel does next. Do they recast the role, as Peter has become more and more central to the MCU? Or do take Holland’s idea and introduce a Miles Morales, who could become Marvel’s movie Spider-Man for the next couple of years? They have a little time to decide. But not much. The clock is ticking.

Spider-Man: No Way Home opens in theaters on December 17, 2021.

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