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It was obvious that big changes were in store when Marvel Studios and Sony Pictures teamed up together for the next stage of Spider-Man films. Leaving the Amazing Spider-Man series behind, the Wall-Crawler will be rebooted for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, debuting in Captain America: Civil War and leading a new solo film in 2017. However, overwriting continuity and teaming up with other Marvel heroes may not be the only change in store for the Webbed Wonder.
White actors are still going out for Spider-Man but their reps are telling me they think Sony is leaning "ethnic."— Jeff Sneider (@TheInSneider) February 23, 2015
When Sneider appeared on Meet The Movie Press last week, he stated he’s "95% sure" that the new Spider-Man will most likely be black, although there’s a chance he could be Latino. As he’s stated several times, this isn’t a 100% done deal, but with odds that high, it’s a good bet that we’ll be seeing a non-white Web-Slinger swinging across the big screen in the near future.
So what does this mean for the character himself? Off first glance, this is a good sign for fans of Miles Morales, who took up the mantle of Spider-Man in the Ultimate universe after Peter Parker was "killed" (like most comic book deaths, it didn’t take). Miles is half black and half Latino, which cover those bases. Like Peter, he was also bitten by a genetically altered spider, so aside from reworking the legacy aspect of Miles taking over as Spider-Man, the origin would be quite similar. He even has the parent figure eventually being killed, although Miles was already a superhero at that point.
However, in Marvel’s original announcement, they stated that their collaboration with Sony was "the perfect way to take Peter Parker's story into the future," so unless they change their minds in the next several months, if a non-white actor is cast, he will probably be playing Peter, which makes sense concerning general viewers. Replacing Peter with Miles in film would be like if a new Batman series started off with Dick Grayson as the Caped Crusader. Sure there are fans of Dick and Miles as these heroes, but the moviegoing audience is more familiar with the main hero wearing the mask. However, that doesn’t mean that one day, Peter might get killed in battle and Miles will take his place. Keep that in mind for the future, Marvel.
When all is said and done, this would be a unique way for Marvel to add some diversity to their mostly whitewashed lineup of superheroes (currently only War Machine and Falcon are the only non-white superheroes, and will soon be joined by Black Panther and Luke Cage).Besides, whether it’s Peter or Miles doing the crimefighting, skin color is barely an issue since no one can see what he looks like underneath that mask…until of course it’s ripped strategically to show parts of his face during battle.