Well that’s a blow for diversity if ever I heard one.
Just the other day we posted a great quote from Amazing Spider-Man 2 star Andrew Garfield about Marvel Comic’s Miles Morales, the biracial African American/Puerto Rican character from the Ultimate universe, and his potential for showing up on the big screen. “Miles Morales was a huge moment in this character’s comic book life, and I do believe that we can do that. It’s something I’m really interested in figuring out; an eloquent way of co-existing, or passing on the torch,” he said, “I don’t have an answer, but I think it’s actually a really important move. I think it’s a really beautiful and important move.”
We agreed. That would be a really cool and important move. Unfortunately, it seems TASM2 producers Avi Arad and Matt Tolmach don’t share the sentiment. According to an interview they did with IndieWire, they think Peter Parker is THE Spider-Man:
Are Miles Morales (“Ultimate Spider-Man”), Ben Reilly (clone Spider-Man) or Miguel O’Hara (“Spider-Man 2099″) on the table? If you want a Spider-Man movie every year why not bring in some of the other variations?
Arad: No. The one thing you cannot do, when you have a phenomena that has stood the test of time, you have to be true to the real character inside – who is Peter Parker? What are the biggest effects on his life? Then you can draw in time, and you can consider today’s world in many ways. But to have multiple ones… I don’t know if you remember, but Marvel tried it. And it was almost the end of Spider-Man.
So Spider-Man in the cinematic realm will always be Peter Parker?
Tolmach: As far as we’re concerned. The guys who take it over after us… Who knows…
That’s…disappointing. Especially considering, as IndieWire pointed out, they are trying to do a lot with the Spider-Man universe. They’re currently working on spin-offs for Venom and the Sinister Six.
Garfield isn’t the only superhero star talking about representation in those films. Captain America: The Winter Soldier’s Anthony Mackie is pretty outspoken when it comes to diversity. He feels kids deserve to have someone who looks like them be the hero. Mackie said, “When I was a kid, I really didn’t have a person I could look at, other than my dad, and be like, ‘Hey, I want to be that guy and fly through the window.’ You couldn’t be like 7 years old and say, ‘Who do you want to be for Halloween?’ ‘Shaft!’”
Marvel’s Axel Alonso said something of Morales soon after his reveal which we should be reminded of here, “People who say this is a PC stunt miss the point. Miles Morales is a reflection of the culture in which we live. I love the fact that my son Tito will see a Spider-Man swinging through the sky whose last name is ‘Morales.’ And judging from the response, I can see I’m not alone.”