Fans will be able to delve into the Spider-Verse with their friendly neighborhood Spider-Man this fall in Salt Lake City when actor Tom Holland, who plays the titular hero, makes his way to FanX: Salt Lake Comic Convention on Sept. 5-7.
Holland was announced as a guest for the convention Tuesday morning, joining an already star-studded lineup including NSYNC favorites Chris Kirkpatrick and Joey Fatone, comedy classic Kel Mitchell and “Harry Potter” stars Jason Isaacs and Matthew Lewis.
“I think people will love him,” said FanX co-founder Dan Farr in an interview with the Daily Herald regarding the announcement. “He kind of really does fit the bill for what people imagine Spider-Man to be – the character the way he would seem to be if he were lifted off the comic books.”
But more than that, Holland is well known for his great, down-to-earth personality and positive interactions with fans.
“He also is just really likable,” Farr said, before noting that Salt Lake was chosen as one of only three conventions Holland will be attending this fall, joining a convention in the Midwest and another along the East Coast as the only events selected from over a dozen different offers and requests.
According to Farr, bringing Holland to Salt Lake was part of a process that took both “years and months,” with communication on availability eventually leading to a solid offer and finally a positive reply.
“It’s a big commitment to pick the right guest that will also have the biggest impact on people and get people so excited to have them come in and be a part of the event,” Farr said of the process. “Really what makes it worthwhile is to see people have a good time.”
Adding to the excitement of the announcement is the fact that Holland’s latest film, “Spider-Man: Far From Home” just hit theaters last month.
“The excitement of the (FanX) staff is proportionate to what we anticipate the fans’ will be,” Farr said. “The support that we get here is always so amazing. I assume the limited quantity of (photos and autographs) for Tom will go quickly but still people will get to see his panel and show Tom what it’s like to get that great Utah welcome.”
With roughly 30 guests announced so far, it’s safe to say fan response across the board has been overwhelmingly positive for the event. According to Farr, NSYNC’s Joey Fatone brought a DJ for his autograph line on his last visit to FanX, and many fans are hyped for a return visit, especially after his appearance on FOX’s “The Masked Singer.”
“I became a fan of him after meeting him and just seeing how great he is with fans,” Farr said. “He has a fun personality – playful. It just makes it really exciting.”
He also mentioned response from guests such as Christina Ricci (“Addams Family,” “Casper”), Megan Follows (“Anne of Green Gables,” “Reign”), Orlando Jones and Ricky Whittle (“American Gods”) and of course Kel Mitchell (“All That,” “Mystery Men”).
“I’ve been so, I guess enthralled, or really interested to know what makes fans fans and just understanding that fan energy,” Farr said, citing for example how some people could be completely disinterested about meeting or seeing a celebrity, while others might have explosive enthusiasm.
“I would probably lean more toward the side of not having a lot of the fan gene for actors, but I do have a fan gene in that I’m a fan of the fans,” Farr said. “I love to entertain and love to see that excitement and energy. I kind of have a vicarious engagement with the fanboy or fangirl experience.”
It’s that hope of creating fan experiences for convention attendees that brought Linda Ballantyne and Katie Griffin of “Sailor Moon” to the FanX fall lineup.
“I’m not familiar with that property at all, but I’ve seen people get so excited about it,” Farr said.
So when he met the duo at another event and realized what great people they were, he knew they’d be a perfect match for FanX.
“People will have those fan moments with them, and once again I’ll get that vicarious experience,” he said.
Though guests don’t always work out, the moments when things do come together in a way that will benefit the fans, Farr said it’s always worth it.
And for fans that haven’t quite found their perfect guest match in the current lineup? Farr noted that that’s something “we’re working on.”
“There’s definitely more coming,” he said.
At least 10 more guests are already on the radar with a goal of 45-50 total announcements by the fall event. For more specific details on FanX guests and tickets, visit http://fanxsaltlake.com. Continuing coverage of the event is also available at http://heraldextra.com/comiccon.