With Captain America: Civil War set to release in May 2016, superhero fans everywhere are getting excited about the latest installment in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (or MCU). This highlyanticipated film will revisit characters who have already appeared in Marvel movies such as The Avengers, as well as introduce a whole host of new superheroes to the movie franchise. Earlier this year, Marvel announced that Spider-Man will finally be joining the MCU.
Before Marvel reached their agreement with Sony, Spider-Man was prevented from joining the cast of The Avengers or appearing in any other Marvel-created movies, but now, he can show up alongside other characters from the Marvel comic books (or at least, alongside those who aren’t owned by 20th Century Fox). After appearing in Civil War, Spider-Man is set to have yet another solo film, marking the fifth since Sam Raimi’s 2002 movie with Tobey Maguire.
Unfortunately, Marvel has decided to recast Spider-Man yet again, since, although Andrew Garfield did an admirable job bringing the character of Peter Parker to life, he was not able to return the role. This means that Spider-Man’s solo film may be another origin story, and frankly, audiences are tired of this story. Uncle Ben dies. We get it. On the other hand, if the movie fails to show Spider-Man’s origin, but has a different actor playing the role, audiences may find the story jarring.
With that in mind, Marvel should take the opportunity to go in a new, unexpected direction with Spider-Man. Instead of recasting Peter Parker, the company should cast an actor to play Miles Morales, the Spider-Man from the Ultimate Universe (as opposed to Earth 616, the universe where Peter is Spider-Man). Miles, the son of an African-American father and a Puerto Rican mother, took the reins as Spider-Man after Peter died in his universe. It’s about time for a Marvel movie to have a lead that differs from their usual lineup of white, male superheroes.
Introducing Miles as the new Spider-Man would keep audiences from getting bored, and it would give Marvel a lot more freedom to explore the character. Unlike with Peter, viewers have little to no preconceived notions about Miles. Not only that, but some fans have already expressed aversion to the fact that Spider-Man’s solo film means the Black Panther and Captain Marvel movies are getting pushed back. These films were set to be the first Marvel movies led by a black superhero and a female superhero, respectively. Miles Morales replacing Peter Parker as Spider-Man in the MCU would be a good step forward for superhero representation, but it’s a step that Marvel seems unwilling to take.