Spider-Man: Homecoming Adds a Supporting Character, Creating A Possible Conflict

Now that he’s successfully made his big-screen debut in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Tom Holland’s Spider-Man can get down to the business of crimefighting in his own, solo Spidey movie. Spider-Man: Homecoming is gearing up for a summertime shoot in Atlanta, and casting new has been trickling down the Hollywood pipeline Today, another new and seemingly important character has been added to Peter Parker’s growing posse. Here’s what we have heard.

Michael Barbieri, a 14-year-old actor who was seen earlier this year in the Sundance film Little Men, has been cast as a part of Spider-Man: Homecoming. Heroic Hollywood broke the news, noting that Barbieri auditioned for Peter Parker, and now will play one of Peter’s best friends. Here's Michael Barbieri:

Taking that news one step further, ComicBook.com adds that Barbieri is expected to play a character named Ganke. Here’s where things get … complicated. Ganke, fans of the Ultimate Spider-Man line of comics will know, is the best friend of a Spider-Man, but not of Peter Parker. Ganke was the best friend of Miles Morales, another character blessed with the powers of Spider-Man. A lot of the traits that Tom Holland seems to be pulling from could fit either Peter Parker or Miles Morales, though obviously Holland’s playing Peter, and Marvel has made it clear that they would not use Miles right away in the MCU. So would they really give Peter Parker Miles Morales’s best friend on screen? It’d be a strange decision, though one that could help separate Homecoming from the previous versions of Spidey we have seen on screen to date. In the books, Ganke was Miles’ trusted confidante. He even knew Spider-Man’s secret identity, which could be a major twist for the character Michael Barbieri is playing… if, in fact, it’s a version of Ganke.

Michael Barbieri joins a cast that currently includes Tom Holland, Marisa Tomei (as Peter’s Aunt May) and Robert Downey Jr. as the returning Tony Stark. Spider-Man: Homecoming will be directed by Cop Car’s Jon Watts, who also has cast Disney Channel standout Zendaya, Tony Revolori (The Grand Budapest Hotel), and Laura Harrier. Recently, Michael Keaton was reported to be circling the role of the movie’s villain, and it was believed that he’s be playing The Vulture.

For now, Barbieri is also hard at work on The Dark Tower, where he’ll appear opposite Matthew McConaughey and Idris Elba. More on his role in Spider-Man: Homecoming as it develops.

Sean O'Connell
Managing Editor

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.