Avengers: Endgame directors Anthony and Joe Russo “couldn’t be more proud” of Spider-Man star Tom Holland, who is “kicking ass” in his role as a drug-addicted bank robber in true story drama Cherry. Inspired by the book of the same name, penned by first-time novelist Nico Walker, Cherry is the next effort from the Russo’s AGBO Films, production arm behind the Chadwick Boseman-starring 21 Bridges. An examination of the opioid crisis and other difficult subject matter, including post-traumatic stress disorder and the Iraq war, the directing duo say Holland’s role is “as complicated a role as an actor can play.”
“The whole thing is shocking and surprising. If you’ve read the book, I mean, it’s a very controversial book,” Joe Russo told Collider when promoting 21 Bridges. “It’s about the opioid crisis, we’re from Ohio — the area of the country that’s considered ground zero for the crisis — we’ve had a lot of people close to us die because of it. So I think the subject matter is difficult.”
Added Anthony, “You’re dealing with PTSD, the Iraq war, the legacy of that war, opioid prescriptions.”
Cherry also touches on heroin abuse and criminality, making for a “very complicated character,” added Joe. “I’ll say this. Tom Holland is killing it. He’s just kicking ass in this role. And we couldn’t be more proud of him. It’s as complicated a role as an actor can play, and he’s just doing a spectacular job.”
When detailing their next directorial project at San Diego Comic-Con in July, the Russo brothers said Cherry is told in a “very fascinating and frank way,” and their adaptation of the material makes it a “very deeply personal movie” for the Ohio natives.
For Holland, who enrolled in boot camp to slim down for the role, the 23-year-old actor said during a convention in August the role is one that allows him to g”explore emotions and stuff that [he’s] never experienced before in life.”
“Working with the Russos, they’re the kind of guys where they can be like, ‘Do you want to...?’ And I’m like, ‘Yeah, sure, I’ll sign up. Whatever you’re doing, I’ll do it with you,’” Holland said at Keystone Comic Con. “And the role, for me, is like the greatest role that’s ever come my way, from an acting point of view. Like there’s so much for me to do in one film. I’m just really excited to try and play these kind of different characters, and explore stuff I’ve never done before.”
Cherry is expected to release in 2020.