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If there's one thing that the announced cast of Spider-Man: Homecoming has in common, it's that they have very little in common; they cover a wide variety of cultures and ethnicities. According to director Jon Watts, this isn't an accident, it's a necessity. Peter Parker lives in one of the most diverse places on earth, so it's important that the movie world properly reflects the real one.
While most of Spider-Man: Homecoming is still shrouded in mystery and we know little about the actual story, we do know that the actors telling that story will come from a variety of backgrounds. Donald Glover, Kenneth Choi, and Zendaya are just a few of the names currently attached to the film. In a recent interview with The Daily Beast, director Jon Watts says that this diversity isn't an accident, it's an integral part of the setting of the film.
Peter Parker goes to high school in Queens, and Queens is one of---if not the---most diverse places in the world. So I just wanted it to reflect what that actually looks like.
The United States is often described as a melting pot of different cultures, and New York City may be one of the single greatest examples of this. As a major port, it has been the point of arrival for new Americans for generations. Every culture and race calls New York City home, and this is part of the reason that we're seeing a diverse cast come together for Spider-Man: Homecoming.
In the past, comic book movies have been criticized in some corners for putting diversity ahead of the source material, such as the casting of Idris Elba in the Thor movies or Michael B. Jordan's role as Johnny Storm in the Fantastic Four. However, as there was nothing about the characters that inherently required them to have a particular skin color, these films opened up the roles to a wider variety of actors. Conversely, Marvel films have been criticized for mostly containing white males as the leading characters.
While it's possible that any of the Spider-Man: Homecoming actors could also be playing roles that were previously white in the comic books, the change will be a more realistic depiction of Queens than the original comic book ever was.
There will be plenty of caucasian actors in the film as well. Tom Holland will be following up his introduction in Captain America: Civil War as Spider-Man, as will Marissa Tomei as Peter Parker's unusually attractive Aunt May. Michael Keaton will reportedly also be returning to the world of the superhero movie, though this time as the villain; rumor is he'll be playing The Vulture.
While the Marvel Cinematic Universe is all about super powers and magic, it's still set in a world that it supposed to be our own. It's good to know that one aspect of that real world, our diverse cultures will be properly represented in upcoming MCU movies.