Spider-Man made his hugely popular Marvel Cinematic Universe debut in Captain America: Civil War, and Spider-Man: Homecoming is ramping up the casting. Most recently, the movie scored a major coup by casting Abraham Attah, the 15-year-old who delivered a powerhouse performance as a child soldier in the Netflix movie Beasts Of No Nation. Oddly, though, just what role Attah has to play has yet to be disclosed. Which is beginning to raise the question: Might there be more than one Spider-Man?
For those unfamiliar, five years ago, Marvel debuted a new Spider-Man in their Ultimate line of comics, Miles Morales. Bitten by the same genetically engineered spiders that gave Peter his powers as a grade-schooler, Miles puts on the tights to honor Parker, who dies saving the city. The Brooklyn-born Miles, who has an African American dad and a Puerto Rican mother, was inspired in part by a push to have Donald Glover play Spider-Man in the reboot, a role that ultimately went to Andrew Garfield, and in part because writer Brian Michael Bendis wanted to give his adopted daughters somebody who looks like them in comics.
It was a gamble, but one that undeniably paid off. Miles is such a popular character, Marvel brought him into their main universe alongside an older Peter Parker, where he has his own solo book, Spider-Man, and is part of an Avengers squad. And ever since his debut, there’s been a strong push on the part of fans to make Miles part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
It’s true there’s plenty of roles we don’t yet know about. Donald Glover and Hannibal Buress, for example, both have parts that haven’t been revealed, and could be anything from minor villains to the long-suffering Daily Bugle team. (For what it’s worth, my money is on Buress as the next J. Jonah Jameson.) But while it seems unlikely Marvel and Sony would want two Spider-Men running around, there’s more logic to it than you might think.
For one thing, it gives both Marvel and Sony a Spider-Man to play with. Despite the deal cut with Marvel, Sony still runs the Spider-Man franchise, so if Marvel wants, say, a Spider-Man to join the Avengers, having Miles around makes that a simpler proposition. It also gives both studios more Spider-people to work with, and introduces Miles, still more popular among readers than casual Spider-fans, to a wider audience. Furthermore, fans have been calling on Marvel to bring in more diverse characters for years, and Kevin Feige is clearly listening.
We won’t know until a trailer arrives, of course. But when it does, don’t be surprised if Peter Parker has another Spider-Man swinging alongside him.