Entertainment Weekly’s Comic-Con issue arrives today, and with it a piece on The Amazing Spider-Man 2. Most of it is the usual fluff, but EW has picked a few interesting bits. Like Andrew Garfield’s interest in having a gay Spidey.
Garfield laid it out in EW:
Recently…he had a philosophical discussion with producer Matt Tolmach about Mary Jane or “MJ” to fans. “I was kind of joking, but kind of not joking about MJ,” he tells EW. “And I was like, ‘What if MJ is a dude?’ Why can’t we discover that Peter is exploring his sexuality? It’s hardly even groundbreaking!…So why can’t he be gay? Why can’t he be into boys?”
Garfield has actually thought about this to the point where he’s cast his fantasy male MJ. Another MJ, Michael B. Jordan, in fact. And apparently he’s talked about it so much that the director is like “Yeah, I know, we heard.”
Needless to say, Spidey fandom is taking this with all the tact and aplomb you’d expect. The EW comments section in particular is a hilarious train-wreck of butthurt and whining that Peter Parker can’t be into dudes, because it’s not canon.
That said… Garfield actually does have a point. First of all, Peter’s defining romantic relationship is with Gwen Stacy, and odds are pretty good Gwen’s getting her ticket punched, if not in this movie, then likely in the next one. It’s Gwen’s death, as much as Uncle Ben’s, that drives Peter to be a hero.
Secondly, “canon” is not a great argument for a character like Spider-Man. Let’s face it, past the mid-80s or so, Spider-Man has largely been defined by arcs that fans would rather forget: The Other, One More Day, and >shudder< The Clone Saga. In fact, in both of Marvel’s continuities right now, Peter Parker is as dead as a comic book character gets. When even Marvel can’t even be bothered to keep you alive with a movie coming out, the filmmakers should be given a little more latitude.
It’s probably never going to happen: While American audiences probably would accept it with barely a shrug, movie studios are paranoid about alienating any audience. Maybe they can have a clone plotline where the Scarlet Spider is gay?
image courtesy Entertainment Weekly