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When co-stars turn into real-life couples, fans often become especially invested in their stories. Like any workplace romance, however, actors dating one another have the potential for some behind-the-scenes drama that can cause chaos on the set.
Tom Holland and Zendaya wowed fans on the set of Spider-Man: Homecoming. Now they’re a fan-favorite Hollywood couple. But early on, an executive told them not to date.
Tom Holland and Zendaya were advised not to date, just like Emma Stone and Andrew Garfield
Something about the Spider-Man franchise puts love in the air. Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst dated after meeting on the set of the 2002 film Spider-Man. A decade later, Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone became an item during the filming of The Amazing Spider-Man. By the time Zendaya and Tom Holland sparked a romance on the set of 2017’s Spider-Man: Homecoming, the trend was solidified.
At least two of these pairs got together despite professional advice to avoid a romance on the set. Amy Pascal (a Sony executive credited as a producer on many Spider-Man films) explicitly warned Holland and Zendaya about following suit.
“I took Tom and Zendaya aside, separately, when we first cast them and gave them a lecture,” Pascal told the New York Times in 2021. “Don’t go there—just don’t. Try not to. I gave the same advice to Andrew [Garfield] and Emma [Stone]. It can just complicate things, you know?”
To their credit, Zendaya and Holland — perhaps with Pascal’s lecture still ringing in their ears — did try to keep their early relationship under wraps. But we all know how that turned out.
What do the two couples have in common?
While Pascal warned a real-life romance could complicate things on set, Stone and Garfield remained professional and civil despite an early break. The pair remained a couple past the time they spent working on the project. Stone and Garfield likely parted ways sometime in 2015, but the split was quiet.
Garfield landed the part of Spider-Man (a move that some comic fans were skeptical about) mainly based on a scene where his chemistry with Stone shone through too brightly to ignore. Zendaya and Holland have a similarly undeniable connection.
Of course, a significant difference between the couples is that Garfield and Stone have gone their separate ways while Zendaya and Holland are still going strong.
Tom Holland and Andrew Garfield have weighed in on ‘Spider-Man’ future
The Marvel Cinematic Universe rocked the world with a different kind of on-screen pairing. In Spider-Man: No Way Home, all three actors (Maguire, Garfield, and Holland) showed up as the installment to the franchise had timelines colliding. Garfield even lied to Stone (who is still close enough to her ex to text him in an attempt to get movie spoilers) about appearing in the film.
While the future of the Spider-Man franchise remains unclear, some speculate Garfield could continue to reprise his role as Peter Parker as Holland does the same. “I would not be surprised if Andrew ends up becoming the Spider-Man that’s in that universe [the Sony universe], and I think Tom will continue as the Spider-Man in the Marvel Cinematic Universe,” reports CinemaBlend (via Forbes).
As for their on-screen love interests, Zendaya should return as long as Holland does. And if TASM franchise fans have their way, maybe an alternate universe Gwen Stacy could make an appearance.
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