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While Peter Parker is easily the best known character to take on the secret identity "Spider-Man," he is not the only one. From Miles Morales (who became Spider-Man after the death of Peter Parker in the Ultimate Spider-Man comics) to Miguel O'Hara (who was a futuristic version of Spider-Man in the 2099 series) to Ben Reilly (who was actually a clone of Peter Parker), there is a good history of other characters taking on the arachnid moniker, even though they aren't quite as well known to the public. This naturally begs the question, could we ever see a Spider-Man movie that featured a hero other than Peter Parker? As exciting as that prospect may be, it definitely won't be happening any time in the near future.
Following comments from Amazing Spider-Man 2 star Andrew Garfield suggesting that his big screen version of Spider-Man could one day be replaced by the Miles Morales version of the webslinger, producers Avi Arad and Matt Tolmach have completely shut that talk down. In a recent interview, The Playlist asked the two filmmakers if there was any chance we could ever see a non-Peter Parker Spider-Man on the big screen, and their answer was a firm no, explaining that none of the other versions of the character have the history required for a cinematic adaptation. Explained Arad,
"The one thing you cannot do, when you have a phenomena that has stood the test of time, you have to be true to the real character inside – who is Peter Parker? What are the biggest effects on his life? Then you can draw in time, and you can consider today's world in many ways. But to have multiple ones… I don't know if you remember, but Marvel tried it. And it was almost the end of Spider-Man."
Asked for confirmation that Peter Parker will always be the one in the Spider-Man suit on the big screen, Arad gave an affirmative, "Absolutely," while Tolmach added, "As far as we're concerned. The guys who take it over after us… Who knows…"
Obviously the Amazing Spider-Man franchise is just getting going at this point, but I must that that this approach seems very short-sighted. Arad and Tolmach, I'm sure, want the series to go on for years and years, but the reality is that Andrew Garfield isn't always going to be around (let's not forget that part of what makes Spider-Man such a special hero is his young age) . When Garfield leaves they can replace him with another actor to play Peter, but wouldn't it be so much cooler to instead have the Peter die and move forward with something new and exciting that audiences have never seen before and further expands the universe? I don't think audiences are as afraid of new things as Arad and Tolmach seem to think they are.
Where do you stand in this debate? Are you happy that Peter Parker will be the only big screen Spider-Man, or would you be interested in introducing some variety? Let us know what you think in the comments below.