It’s a little thing that America has perfected and that is the “art of capitalism!” Now that Disney has placed it’s Mickey Mouse ears on Marvel (and everything that they own), every studio out there is doing everything in their power to make some profit off of their existing contracts with Marvel’s characters, before they are kicked over indefinitely to the House of Mouse.
The most notable of these projects is Sony’s reboot of the Spider-man franchise. Yes, a reboot. It hasn’t even been a full decade since the first Spider-man film hit theaters and already they are trying to wipe the slate clean.
They have started the casing process and many, many, MANY, rumors have hit the internet to speculate. While we can literally talk about this for days (and we did with Captain America), the purpose of this article is the Facebook campaign that has been launched in favor of getting Donald Glover to be the new face of the Spider-man franchise.
This is one casting choice that has left me saying, over and over again, “Hell no!”
Please bare in mind, I think that Donald is a very talented kid, not to mention absolutely hilarious as a series regular on NBS’s Community. While Donald does posses a lot of the qualities of Peter Parker, quite naturally I might add, he’s not Peter Parker. The reality is, Peter Parker is a nerdy white kid.
I’m all for ethnic diversity, especially in the media. However, I am a huge comic book fan and I don’t like the idea of changing the identities of characters that have become imbedded into pop culture for decades. My interest is staying true to these characters.
I like it would be equally upsetting (if not more) if they went around casting “white-folks” for such roles as, Storm (X-Men), Blade, Luke Cage, Black Panther, Falcon (Avengers), Bishop (X-Men), Steel, War Machine, and Vixen. Can you even imagine that actually happening? There would be an uproar.
In the Daredevil film, the villain of the Kingpin was changed from white to black when they cast Michael Clark Duncan. Please bare in mind, Michael Clark Duncan (regardless of race) is possibly the only actor on the planet that has the star-power and the build that it required for the role.
As a far as advertising and merchandising is concerned, this would cause a problem. Comic book sales tend to explode for any given title that has a film coming out. Marvel especially likes to tie into all of it. If Donald Glover was cast, comic book tie in would be completely out of the question.
I understand that is is opening up a whole other conversation about equality as well as a time when most Superheroes were white. In recent years, comic books have tried to expand the ethnicity of their characters. X-Men has several African American characters, John Stewart is an African American Green Lantern, James Rhodes has even taken the mantle of Iron Man time and time again.
Donald Glover is a fit for Spider-man in many, many ways. The idea alone does intrigue me and the reality of it would be interesting as well. I’m a completely on the fence on this issue. It’s hard to make a definitive call and I think that there are valid arguments for both sides.
However, I truly believe that when it comes to casting someone for this characters, you already have an idea what you are looking for. The actors are supposed to embody these characters and unfortunately, most of that is already dictated for them.
Internet campaigns are becoming a “thing” since the fans rallied to get Betty White to host Saturday Night Live! and it actually worked! NOT audition the guy, would be absolutely silly and Stan Lee has already given his support for Donald to get a chance to read.
Casting results should be revealed soon. If you are behind the Donald Glover movement you can join the movement here.