LOS ANGELES (AP) — You know the names and you’ve met them briefly before, but this summer Gal Gadot’s Wonder Woman and Tom Holland’s Spider-Man take center stage in blockbusters all their own. Both face the gargantuan task of revitalizing brands and properties that could use some help: For “Wonder Woman,” the thus critically-derided DC Comics films, and for “Spider-Man: Homecoming,” Sony hopes its lone comic book property can launch its own extended universe. Good thing they’re both superheroes.
Get to know a bit more about the actors who are playing some of summer’s biggest superhero roles:
GAL GADOT AS WONDER WOMAN
The 31-year-old Israeli model and actress teased audiences with a bit of her Diana Prince/Wonder Woman in “Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice,” but on June 2 fans will get to explore the origins of the Amazonian warrior in “Wonder Woman.”
The film takes Diana from her home island of Themyscira and into the throes of World War I, along with American soldier named Steve Trevor (Chris Pine).
Gadot’s Diana, she says, is a powerful warrior with high emotional intelligence, although she doesn’t quite understand the gender and social norms of WWI-era London. Gadgot calls it a “beautiful naiveté.”
“She sees the world in such a healthy way,” Gadot says. “Diana Prince basically stands for everything I stand for: love, peace, justice, truth. I keep on saying that if each and every one of us had a little bit of Wonder Woman in us the world would be a better place.”
TOM HOLLAND AS SPIDER-MAN
Like Wonder Woman’s brief appearance in “Batman v Superman,” Holland made his debut in a small, but memorable, part in “Captain America: Civil War,” when Robert Downey Jr.’s Tony Stark enlists the Queens teenager for some help. Unlike Wonder Woman who has never had a big screen movie to herself, audiences have now had three Spider-Mans in the past 15 years: Tobey Maguire, Andrew Garfield and Holland.
The 20-year-old British actor says that his Peter Parker/Spider-Man is fairly similar to both Maguire’s and Garfield’s takes, but with one important difference: Holland was actually in the right age range to play a high school student. (Maguire was 27 when his first Spider-Man came out, and Garfield was 29).
To prepare for “Spider-Man: Homecoming,” out July 15, Holland even went undercover to a Queens, N.Y. high school to try to understand what American high school life is like. The biggest difference? Girls and no uniforms — quite a departure from the all-boys school he attended in the U.K.
“I really think people will enjoy the Peter Parker side of the story,” Holland says. “With superhero movies I feel like you’re always looking for more superhero. But in this movie I hope it will be the reverse … the Spider-Man part is just an added bonus.”