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8 reasons Donald Glover is perfect for Spider-man.
If any of you were aware of the internet buzz circulating
around the recast of Spider-man for Marc Webb’s 2012 reboot you will surely be
conscious of the push to have Community star Donald Glover put the mask on.
Donald himself saw this is to be a good idea, referencing it in a couple of
songs under his rap pseudonym ‘Childish Gambino’ as well as in his stand-up
comedy shows and TV show Community. #Donald4Spiderman even becoming a trending
twitter topic for a while. Sadly, Andrew Garfield was eventually cast in the
role but with Spider-man’s introduction into the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU)
the role is up for grabs for anyone. Here I’ll be wrapping up 8 reasons why
Donald would be perfect for the role, get it, because a spider has 8 legs (I’m
funny I swear).
Race both is, and isn’t, a big deal.
The government, advertisers and
the media as a whole have been pushing the idea that race and ethnicity is no
longer an issue for years. However, the recent racially based police brutality
attacks in Ferguson and beyond (which I don’t feel qualified enough to speak
too much on) has shown us that race is still an issue amongst the public as
much as it was years ago. Putting a black man, or ANY ethnicity man, into a Spider-man
costume will enforce the idea that children and adults from ethnic backgrounds
different from the dominant kind in their area can be anything they want. You
want to be Spider-man? Sure, go for it you can do it. The character of Spider-man
is universally loved, not just by white people, so why should he only be played
by white people?
His level of fame.
Donald has the perfect amount of
fame that Marvel look for when hiring actors for their characters. He is an up
and coming star-best known for his cult role as Troy Barnes in Community and is
set to appearing the Magic Mike sequel as well as the Ridley Scott directed
‘The Martian’. Also, how many people can honestly say they’d heard of Chris
Pratt, Chris Evans or Chris Hemsworth before their roles in the MCU? Perhaps
the only ‘big’ stars in the current franchise are Samuel L. Jackson, Robert
Downey Jr. and Scarlett Johansson. These choices are to anchor the franchise
and invite audiences to the cinema while also taking a back seat and allowing
the smaller stars to come through. Chadwick Boseman being cast as Black Panther
in the MCU has shown that Marvel are open to hiring lesser-known actors for
Donald is basically Peter Parker.
With his roles in shows like
Community as well as his college sketch group Derrick Comedy Donald has been
shown to be like Peter Parker without really trying. This demonstrates how well
he can truly fit into the role and this can only be good for a more natural
character. As good as Sam Raimi’s Spider-man trilogy was, I couldn’t help but
feel like Tobey Maguire’s performance as Peter Parker felt incredibly forced.
Without the rest of the solid casting and good directing I think the franchise
would’ve fallen flat on its face. Marvel can learn from the mistakes that Sony
made and cast perfectly to allow Peter and Spider-man to achieve their full
Race-bending has been done before.
Anyone familiar with the 2003
film Daredevil (and I think we all wish we weren’t) will be aware of the fact
that the Kingpin, a character who is shown as white in the comics, was
portrayed by Michael Clarke Duncan who is a black actor. Michael Clarke Duncan
plays the role very well and received little to no backlash from the world.
Jamie Foxx as Electro and Samuel L Jackson as Nick Fury also show that
race-bending has been done mostly well in comic book movies. That being
said-Nick Fury, Electro and The Kingpin are hardly the highest profile comic
book characters ever so this will really give Marvel the opportunity to push
the boat out and make a change.
Donald has the backing of everyone (almost).
The fact that #Donald4Spiderman
trended WORLDWIDE in 2012 showed that a lot of people wanted Donald in role.
Their anger at the casting of Andrew Garfield (although it wasn’t terrible
casting, it’s not Donald) has been brewing for 3 years now and the thirst is
greater than ever to put Donald into the iconic suit. While the casting of John
Boyega in the next Star Wars film shows that some aren’t ready for this change,
it’s quite clear that the worldwide consensus is that everyone wants
Donald has already influenced Marvel.
The #Donald4Spiderman tag showed
Marvel what the people wanted, and that was change. And change is what the
people got! Issue 4 of Ultimate Fallout introduced a black Spider-man into the
world called Miles Morales, who Donald would then go on to play in the animated
series (but more on that in the next point). And for those of you who may call
this a coincidence let it be known that Brian Michael Bendis, one of the
creators of this new character, said himself that the character is influenced
by Donald. Bendis said this after seeing Donald wearing a Spider-man t-shirt the
second season premiere of Community, “I saw him in the costume and
thought, ‘I would like to read that book.’ So I was glad I was writing that
He already plays Spiderman (kind of).
The introduction of Miles Morales
into the animated Ultimate Spider-man TV series meant that Donald finally got to
play Spider-man, albeit only with his voice. He does, however, do a brilliant
job at conveying emotion as well as Spider-man’s trademark witty wisecracks
perfectly. So who better to play the character in live-action than not only the
man he was based on, but by the man who already plays him? Personally, I think
there is no-one better.
It’s different, and the franchise needs
The current MCU is pretty
predictable with no surprises. Characters are continuously dying only to be
bought back to life and it’s getting to the point where people are no longer
concerned for the safety of the characters. This will be the third incarnation
of the Spider-man character in 15 years and if the he is more
of the same (and we pray to God that he’s not) then it will be clear that
writers have truly lost all their creativity. Besides, what will bring a
greater audience to the cinema; a big star in the role, or a relatively unknown
actor bringing a big change to what we’ve seen before? Even if it is the big
star, the latter will probably do almost as well with much lower wages. Side
note: if I see Uncle Ben die one more time then Lord knows what I’ll do…
To conclude, while not everyone will agree that Donald
Glover should play Spider-man I think we can all agree that the new web-head
needs to steer clear from the same old same old. What do you think, should the
writers and producers consider a Spider-man of a different ethnicity? Should
Donald play this latest incarnation or can you think of someone better? Let me
know in the ask box and don’t forget to follow for twice-weekly film news and