Spider-Man is coming home to the Marvel Cinematic Universe! But is Peter Parker coming with him?
You might be scratching your head. For millions of Marvel fans, Peter Parker is synonymous with Spider-Man, having served as his alter ego for decades. And in five previous Spider-Man films, Hollywood has chosen to portray the most popular Marvel character. But a new rumor swirling around the unexpected marriage between Sony and Marvel suggests that the studios might ditch Peter Parker in favor of a non-white hero.
The Wrap’s Jeff Sneider drops this info during a recent episode of Meet the Movie Press, where they dabbled in Spider-Man talk and the reporter reveled:
Automatically, this leads us to believe that Sony and Marvel want to go with Miles Morales as their new Spider-Man. Miles first started appearing in the Ultimate line of Spider-Man stories, and was created by writer Brian Michael Bendis. He came to assume the identity of Spider-Man after Peter Parker was "killed" in 2011 by the Green Goblin. (I put it in quotes because Peter Parker eventually came back, as this is the comic book world.) Born and raised in Brooklyn, Miles had an African-American father and a Puerto Rican mother, and was created – in part – to capitalize on the diversity our nation was experiencing around the time that Barack Obama was running for, and winning, a presidential election.
Much like Peter, Miles acquires his powers from a spider bite. He, too, is a nerdy kid who doubts himself at every turn. But Miles frequently wonders if he has criminal roots in his DNA, as his uncle Aaron was an unreformed criminal who had a lot of influence over the young hero.
Obviously, this would be a bold move for Marvel, and an effective way to distance their new Spider-Man from the previous on-screen portrayals by Tobey Maguire and, recently, Andrew Garfield. The decision to go with an African-American or Latino Spider-Man in the MCU could attract different fans looking for diversity in their comic-book movies. As Jeff Sneider explains on the podcast, Sony has a real opportunity to beat Marvel to the punch by making an impact with diversity casting. Marvel obviously cats Chadwick Boseman to play Black Panther, and is about to cast a Captain Marvel. But a non-white Spider-Man could cause ripples felt all throughout the MCU.
Want to hear the comments in context? Play this video, and skip to the 44-minute mark for the start of the discussion:
We expect to see Spider-Man on screen in Captain America: Civil War. But who will play him? Stay tuned for more details as they arrive.
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Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. Sean created ReelBlend, which he proudly cohosts with Jake Hamilton and Kevin McCarthy. And he's the author of RELEASE THE SNYDER CUT, the Spider-Man history book WITH GREAT POWER, and an upcoming book about Bruce Willis.