Happy Memorial Day, Spider-Man fans!
Just in time for the three-day weekend, there's an interesting rumor that's popped up. Heroic Hollywood is reporting that sources have told them that Sony's 2018 animated Spider-Man movie will not focus on Peter Parker, but on the version of Spidey that fans have been clamoring to see on the big screen for a while now: Miles Morales.
Why the Miles Morales rumor could be true
While this is, of course, a rumor, it does make sense. Sony chairman Tim Rothman already made it clear at last year's Cinemacon that their animated Spider-Man movie would operate independently from the live action Marvel Cinematic Universe. That means the animated movie doesn't have to worry about continuity, nor about its version of Spider-Man being canonical with Marvel's version. You could compare it to Fox and Marvel sharing the rights to Pietro Maximoff/Quicksilver. Though in that case it's the same character, rather than two separate characters, the fundamental structure is the same: Fox is doing what it wants with Quicksilver while Marvel did something completely different.
Plus, it's clear by now that there are a few characters who are long overdue to be introduced into the cinematic Marvel pantheon, even if they're not part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Miles Morales is chief among them. Fan demand has been growing and growing to see him on screen and Sony knows this. It would be smart of them to, for once, give fans what they want in a Spider-Man movie. If they do, it would be the second time he's been animated.
He's already appeared in the Ultimate Spider-Man series
This would be the second time that Miles Morales has appeared in an on-screen adaptation. He made his animated debut in September 2014 in the Ultimate Spider-Man animated series. Actor/comedian/rapper/jack of all trades Donald Glover voiced the character, and his shot at playing Spider-Man happened in a rather interesting, if roundabout way.
Back in 2010, when casting opened up for the Amazing Spider-Man movie reboot, a #donald4spiderman hashtag went viral after a fan suggested that Glover should get the role. Stan Lee himself even supported it, as did Glover, who is a self-professed Spider-Man fanatic. While the role ultimately went to Andrew Garfield as Peter Parker, Glover eventually got the chance to play (or at least voice) Miles Morales in Ultimate Spider-Man. Later, Miles Morales creator Brian Michael Bendis credited Glover for influencing the look of the character.
Why an animated Miles Morales movie makes sense
The brains behind Sony's animated Spider-Man movie are none other than Chris Miller and Phil Lord - you know, the guys who brought us a little film called The LEGO Movie. Obviously, they get it when it comes to animation and finding a balance between appealing to a younger demographic while still making it hilarious and energetic enough for adults.
But more than the guys behind the film, it's the character of Miles himself that lends himself to animation on the big screen. First off, Miles was only 13 when he gained his superpowers, a full two years younger than Peter Parker was when he became Spider-Man. Parker had been the youngest person to ever don a superhero suit for a long, long time, so for Miles to be even younger than he was speaks directly to an age group still heavily invested in cartoons and animation. An animated formate would be something they'd not only understand, but embrace.
This isn't to say that Miles Morales wouldn't also be fantastic in live action, because he would. But as Marvel's first half-black, half-Hispanic superhero, he represents a lot of kids who, before his arrival, didn't see any characters to whom they could relate. If Sony is aiming at a younger audience with this format, then so much the better. Not only that, but if there's one area in which DC has been lapping Marvel, it's in their animated offerings. DC's animated movies have set the standard for animated superhero movies, while Marvel has lagged far behind. A Miles Morales animated movie, if done right, could be the first step toward Marvel fans getting the sort of animated film that they've wanted for so long.
Time will tell whether or not it will indeed be Miles Morales taking up the mantle of Sony's animated Spider-Man. Until then, we can just entertain ourselves with dreaming of the possibilities.