Thanks to his fan-favorite appearance in Captain America: Civil War, Spider-Man has officially entered the Marvel cinematic universe. with Tom Holland set to reprise the role for this summer’s Spider-Man: Homecoming.
While that film marks the first co-production between Marvel Studios and Sony Pictures – which still holds the big-screen rights to the character – the latter studio is seizing this opportunity to also introduce audiences to a new Spider-Man animated film untethered to the cinematic universe.
Speculation has long hinged on the fact that this Sony-produced release might feature Miles Morales, an African-American/Puerto Rican teen who picked up the mantle of Spider-Man in the comics in 2011. A recent casting call hinted as much, and now Sony has finally confirmed the news via its official Twitter account.
— Sony Pictures (@SonyPictures) January 18, 2017
In addition to bringing some much-needed diversity to the superhero genre, the introduction of Miles Morales makes sense from a few other angles as well. The move allows Sony to cleanly prevent moviegoers from thinking that the new animated film is canon within the cinematic universe, as it will be set in a world populated by a different Spider-Man altogether.
Moreover, this new character gives the world a much-needed break from Peter Parker, who has been played by three actors on the big screen over the last decade.
Though some fans may lament that Miles’ inclusion could preclude him from being added to the cinematic universe, the opposite is probably true. An animated Spider-Man film would cost far less to produce than a live-action one, given the CGI budget needed for the latter. So Sony’s decision to bring in a new character as the webslinger – in addition to being a slick way of keeping its own Spider-Man films separate – is more than likely designed to ease audiences unfamiliar with the comics into the idea of a non-Peter Parker Spider-Man.
If the still-untitled animated Spider-Man film winds up becoming a hit, Sony will certainly considering a live-action Miles Morales.
Just don’t expect Donald Glover to play him (sorry, Internet).
Robert Yaniz Jr.
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