With the recent casting of Michael Barbieri as one of Peter Parker’s best buddies, the cast of the upcoming Spider-Man movie is filling out. Barbieri's character was rumored to be based on Ganke Lee, best friend of Miles Morales in Marvel's Ultimate Universe — although those rumors have since been debunked by the director himself. While this doesn’t necessarily mean that we will see the fan-favorite Morales make his movie debut in the upcoming Spider-Man: Homecoming, it does open up some questions about where Marvel and Sony are taking the new Spidey in the MCU. Will we see Morales, and/or other spider-related heroes anytime soon?
The School Cast | Interpreting The Pattern
There’s no doubt that Spider-Man: Homecoming will be a totally new and different Spider-Man movie than its predecessors, primarily because of its young cast and atmosphere. Unlike Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield, Tom Holland’s Spider-Man is actually a teenager and feels like a teenager on screen. With Michael Barbieri and Zendaya already cast for the movie, we can already start getting a notion and feel for how the movie will be: A mix of high school drama and web-slinging action. It could either be that the news of the recent castings are happening in real-time, or we could be seeing a pattern or message that Marvel is hinting at.
Sometimes studios cast certain actors months before they release the information, and with Kenneth Choi recently cast as Parker and his friends' school principal, it seems like the school-cast pattern we are seeing from Marvel is preparing us for a very high school-centered movie. With that in mind, could Miles Morales then be one of the students at the high school?
Introducing Miles Morales
The way Miles Morales could be introduced to the MCU could be as simple as making him exist within the cinematic landscape itself, with Morales being just a regular kid in Peter Parker's high school. While this might seem like the safest and most reasonable way to go, I'm positive that most of you, like me, would like to see the Spider-Verse story arc from the comics translate in some way or another to the big screen. In the current animated television show from Disney XD, Ultimate Spider-Man, Miles Morales became a show regular as Kid Arachnid, after Peter experienced an event in similar capacity to the Spider-Verse story arc, which left Morales trapped in Peter's universe.
In the TV show, Peter gathered the help of Doctor Strange to close the inter-dimensional portals leading to other Spider-verses, so could something similar happen in the MCU where we could see Benedict Cumberbatch's Doctor Strange aid Tom Holland's Spider-Man in a Spider-Verse related situation? It is possible, but there is also another way that Miles Morales’ Spider-Man could be introduced, and this is tied to the Infinity Wars.
The Death Of Tom Holland's Peter Parker?
While unlikely, due to his positive reception as the new Spider-Man, if he does indeed die in Infinity War and Miles Morales is in fact present within the MCU and Spider-Man: Homecoming (where he is most likely to appear), we could then see a saddened Miles Morales take on the mantle of Spider-Man in honor of his late friend. In the comics, Morales became the new Spider-Man after Peter Parker died at the hands of the Ultimate Green Goblin.
In early March, Sony announced that a new Venom film was in the works, but that it did not connect to the MCU. It’s possible that that could change though, since Spider-Man: Homecoming doesn’t release until the summer of 2017, so maybe after the new Spidey movie releases, Sony could have a change of heart, especially if the movie receives great critical feedback, which it probably will. If a film based on Venom is made without the inclusion of Spider-Man, a central aspect of the Venom character, then the Agent Venom story is the most likely route to go if a Venom solo movie is to be made.
Scarlet Spider | Ben Reilly, Kaine Parker
Another spider-related hero we could see is the Scarlet Spider in the form of either Ben Reilly or Kaine Parker, or both. In the comics, Ben Reilly was a clone of Peter Parker created by the Jackal. So, what if instead of the Jackal in the MCU, Tony Stark creates a clone of Peter Parker? He most definitely can, due to his large amount of money, resources (recall Vision’s birth in Avengers: Age of Ultron), and of course his genius brain. Rather, the question should be: Would Tony create a Spider-Man clone?
Going back to the Thanos theory from earlier, if Peter Parker dies during Infinity War, and Miles Morales isn’t the one taking on the Spider-Man mantle afterwards, then Ben Reilly or Kaine Parker could be the alternative. Since both are clones of Peter Parker, then Tom Holland would still be playing the part. In the unfortunate event that Spider-Man dies during the fight with Thanos, a devastated Tony Stark would then create a clone, probably to battle the grief of Peter’s death and to obscure the horrible tragedy from the knowledge of Aunt May.
It would be great to see Miles Morales in the MCU, or even Agent Venom or Scarlet Spider, as we would have not just one webhead but many swinging around New York City in friendly neighborhood fashion alongside the Avengers.