After years of playing an alternate version of Spider-Man in the Marvel Universe, Miles Morales is now finally set to officially replace Peter Parker in the Spider-Man comics, becoming the first black Spider-Man in the official Marvel Comics universe.
So what does that mean for upcoming Spider-Man movies?
Well, we do know that Spider-Man will continue to be portrayed as Peter Parker (with a new, younger actor) in the upcoming Marvel film that's due to be released in 2017; beyond that, nothing is certain; that is, assuming the plan isn't for yet another trilogy of Spider-Man movies with Peter Parker in the title role. If that happens, then a Miles Morales toplined Spider-Man movie likely won't be expected until we're well into the 2020s. But, for now, in the comic book universe, the baton has been passed.
This news comes a few days after a leaked email from Sony (uncovered by Gawker) revealed preference for a Peter Parker that must be "Caucasian and heterosexual" in the film (which really shouldn't be shocking to learn). But maybe change is coming?
Remember the "Donald Glover For Spider-Man" campaign that inspired all kinds of fanboy outrage in late 2010?
Glover fans demanded that he be considered for the part, and even created a “ http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=130945906916984&v=wall">Donald Glover for Spider-Man” http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=130945906916984&v=wall">Facebook fanpage.
Glover eventually addressed the kerfuffle, stating that, in short, it really all started as a joke - a joke that got very serious - and he never meant to stir things up.
Obviously he didn't get the part; but what he did eventually do is give voice to Miles Morales - aka the black Spidey, first unveiled in 2011 - during last summer's season of
At the time, Glover said, "That's the great part about the Spider-Man costume: He can be anybody... Spider-Man could be a girl. Spider-Man could be an old man. You don't know. So I just tried to be as me as possible, because you're always just going to bring it back to yourself when you watch the show."
Of course, this only led to even more speculation that his voice-casting as Miles Morales, would eventually lead to a live-action casting of Glover as Morales in a film or TV adaptation of Spidey, with Miles at the center. Said Glover: "I still have hopes to do something like that one day. I don't look at this as second place. Spider-Man, he's such an icon — you have to do something with him."
Whether or not Glover will ever get his shot in the Spider-Man costume is up to the superhero gods. He's certainly not getting any younger, and may even no longer qualify.
Earlier this year, Sony Pictures Entertainment and Marvel Studios announced that they are bringing Spider-Man into Marvel's universe (or is it the other way around?), in a new deal that will see the new Spider-Man first appear in a Marvel film from Marvel's Cinematic Universe (MCU). Sony Pictures will thereafter release the next installment of its Spider-Man franchise, on July 28, 2017, in a film that will be co-produced by Kevin Feige and his team at Marvel, and Amy Pascal, who oversaw the franchise launch for the studio 13 years ago. Together, they will collaborate on a "new creative direction" for the web slinger (just not Miles Morales... at least, maybe not yet).
Of course, social media was all abuzz about the possibility that Miles Morales might emerge as the new Spidey, under this "new creative direction" that both studios have said they want to take the character. I wouldn't hold my breath, hoping that it happens. But if it does, that would obviously be a very welcomed move.
I should note that the new Spidey will likely be sent back to high school in the next film installment, which means Glover won't be in contention for the part (even if Sony and Marvel decided to go with Miles Morales), because he's too old. Not that his actual age matters; it's a question of whether he looks young enough to play a high schooler, and I don't think he does.
Asked earlier this year how he'd make the revamped Spider-Man different from previous incarnations, Glover said, "It's hard to say without studying the role. I would just want to make him -- the thing I liked about Spider-Man the most was that he was misunderstood. Completely, always misunderstood. That was the Spider-Man I always dealt with."
Ultimately, a non-white Spidey would actually make sense here, if only because Sony may want to undo some of the damage it suffered after the leaked emails scandal that led to then chief, Amy Pascal, having to address accusations of racism.