troy&lanie

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).

1-      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?

2-      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 their properties.

3-      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 potential.

4-      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.

5-      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 #Donald4Spiderman.

6-      Donald as 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 book.”

7-      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.

8-      It’s different, and the franchise needs different.

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 reviews.

Matthew Crissell

Helen cackled, the sound sharp like the lightening of her father and loud like the war cry from the thousands of ships who had crossed the ocean to fight this ten year war for her honor on a whim. Her mind and need for blood could not be rivaled by the fleets of ships that she viewed when she gazed out the window, like black dots across the horizon, surrounding the kingdom and waiting for the glory of war. Helen smiled to herself. “Look to your kingdoms, Menelaus—master of the war cry, look to your kingdoms and know that I am coming for them, I am coming for them all.”
—  excerpt from a story I wrote in class about Helen of Troy I had so much Helen angst wtf