“Tom can call me drunk any day of the week,” the Disney CEO, 68, told Us Weekly exclusively at the Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker world premiere on Monday, December 16. “As long as he calls me Bob!”
Iger then delved into the details of the discussion that kept Peter Parker in the fold with his fellow Avengers. “I couldn’t tell if he was drunk, but I called him because I knew that he was upset and he wanted to talk to me about the status of Spider-Man. And at the time that I called him, he was at a pub in, I think, London with his family, and he said, ‘If it’s noisy, I just stepped out of a pub,’” he explained. “He sounded a little giddy, but I didn’t really make that connection until I read recently that he said he was a little bit drunk. But he was perfectly nice on the phone. We had a good conversation.”
The executive confirmed that Holland’s passion for the project sealed the deal. “The reason I called him is I knew how important it was to him and I knew how important he was to us,” he revealed. “He asked to talk to me about it, to express how upset he was. And because of how much I cared about him, I called him. And he said, ‘Please, please.’ He [pleaded] with me. ‘Is there anything you can do? Just please, sir, please? Is there anything that you can do?’ I said, ‘Tom, I will try.’”
Iger truly intended to do everything he could to rehash Marvel’s agreement with Sony and that’s just what he did. “I think I said to him, ‘Standby’ or ‘Trust me. I will try,’” he told Us. “I immediately got on the phone afterward and started trying.”
Holland, 23, confessed earlier this month that his drunken phone call with the Disney chairman secured Spider-Man’s fate. “I’m three pints in, haven’t eaten much, and I get a phone call from an unknown number and I have a feeling,” he said during a December 4 appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live! “I’m like, ‘I think this is Bob Iger but I’m drunk.’”
The Avengers: Endgame star later acknowledged that he “weeped” during the conversation because he “felt like it was all coming to an end.”
Holland’s Spider-Man joined the Marvel Cinematic Universe in 2016’s Captain America: Civil War. A dispute between Disney — Marvel’s parent company — and Sony, which owns the film rights to the character, threatened future collaborations between the two companies. However, they reached an agreement in September, with the Spies in Disguise actor set to return in Spider-Man 3 and another Marvel movie.
With reporting by Nicole Pajer
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