News broke recently that Sony and Marvel’s Spider-Man: Homecoming just cast Abraham Attah, a 15-year-old Ghana-born actor best known for his role in Netflix’s Beasts of No Nation. He joins a growing list of new cast members in unconfirmed roles, including Donald Glover, Hannibal Buress and Logan Marshall-Green.
Sony also really reported that their Spider-verse is about to grow even bigger. Tom Rothman, Sony chairman, told The Hollywood Reporter that Sony will create a Spider-Man Universe in conjunction with Marvel Studios. Marvel, he said, will drive Spidey’s creative direction.
So if you’re going to expand the Spider-Man Universe, why not include one of the all-time, most popular Spidey characters: Miles Morales.
Yes, we’re talking about a live action Miles Morales!
Heroic Hollywood (and Moviepilot) are suggesting Morales will be the focus of Sony’s 2018 animated Spider-Man movie, from Lego Movie creators Phil Lord and Chris Taylor. So the act of bringing Morales into the limelight is possible, maybe even probable, if we trust those sources.
However, that doesn’t mean our introduction to the Morales family couldn’t come sooner. While Parker and Morales lived (for a short time) in different Marvel Comics universes, they now co-exist in the same fictional world. So, there's no reason to believe that Morales will only reside in the Marvel Animated Universe.
They could - and should - be together.
After Donald Glover’s casting announcement, I speculated Glover might play Jefferson Davis, Miles Morales’ father. After all, Glover is the "real-world" father of the Miles Morales character in a lot of ways, since his quest to be Spider-Man inspired Miles’ comic book birth.
Glover is far too old to play Morales, but Attah isn’t. At the very least, he doesn’t look his age. By comparison, Peter Parker's Tom Holland is a 20-year-old playing a 15-year-old. Attah, a 15-year-old, looks much younger and would be a perfect fit for Morales.
And Glover’s inclusion is almost certainly because of his Morales connection. If he plays someone else, the Marvel and Sony team have missed a golden opportunity to serve both fans and the story.
Then there’s that interview with director Jon Watts...
At the end of 2015, Homecoming director Jon Watts was asked by Yahoo! Movies if Morales could show up in the reboot.
“I can’t talk about that, because, you know, that will reveal too much… We’re still writing the story…we haven’t finished all the way through the story yet, so who knows,” he said.
That was then and this is now. If Morales was a possibility then, it feels more like a probability now, with these recent casting announcements. And why not in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, alongside Peter Parker?
Morales and the Marvel Formula
Finally, let’s remember that Marvel Studios loves its success formula. Take a look at any film - from Iron Man to Ant-Man - and its core characters are clear:
The Hero: Captain America, Iron Man, Thor, Ant-Man, Star-Lord - the list goes on. This is your main character. In Homecoming, that’s Peter Parker, your friendly, neighborhood Spider-Man.
The Love Interest: Peggy Carter, Pepper Potts, Jane Foster, Hope Van Dyne, Gamora. Strong women, most on the verge of gaining super powers - if they don’t have them already. While Mary Jane Watson will fill this role, I wouldn’t be surprised if Felicia Hardy, aka Black Cat, gives Parker a run for his money.
The Sidekick: Falcon, War Machine, Sif, Hope Van Dyne, Gamora. A close friend who usually winds up with super powers so that he or she can fight alongside the hero. This is where Miles Morales fits into our story.
This set-up allows Marvel to follow its formula. A friend or acquaintance gains similar powers (Rhodey gets the War Machine armor, Falcon gains a special weapon from the military, Hope is given the Wasp uniform) in order to fight alongside the hero.
Thus, Miles's origin story becomes a subplot of Homecoming. When the sequel to Homecoming debuts, Parker is a little older and Morales is sporting a costume similar to Spidey's. And, just like in the comics, there are two Spider-Men thwipping their way across New York.
Plus, Sony and Marvel can spin-off Morales into his own films and have him on board for Infinity War.