Holland, who plays Peter Parker (AKA Spider-Man) in the hit film franchise, had been rumoured to make an appearance in the new Disney+ show.
Several other Marvel Cinematic Unvierse (MCU) characters have already been confirmed to appear, including The Incredible Hulk’s Abomination (Tim Roth), Doctor Strange’s Wong (Benedict Wong), and Daredevil’’s Matt Murdoch (Charlie Cox).
However, Gao appeared to pour cold water on speculation that the webslinger could also be making an appearance.
Speaking to TVLine, she said: “Actually, the Disney+ series had no designs on the webslinger himself, who of course is tangled up in that Sony/Marvel gray area — we knew innately that Spider-Man was a no-go.
“We thought maybe some of the other characters in Spider-Man might be fun to bring into our world, but we were told pretty early on that that was impossible, so we didn’t really go too far down the road.”
“We just had a couple of Spider-Mansupernerds in our room who dare to dream!” she added.
While Gao is most probably telling the truth – the rights to Spider-Man are currently shared between Sony and Marvel in a complicated and multi-faceted legal agreement – those working in the MCU have been known to mislead fans when it comes to cameos.
Before his appearance in Spider-Man: No Way Home, Andrew Garfield flat-out denied that he was reprising his old Amazing Spider-Man role.
In a recent interview, She-Hulk star Tatiana Maslany explained why she herself had initially lied about being cast as the series lead.
Loki star Owen Wilson this week admitted to having been “scolded” by Marvel after accidentally leaking minor plot details from the series.
Earlier this year, Thor: Love and Thunder star Tessa Thompson apologised to the company after she was responsible for a leaked photo of her character’s new outfit making its way online.