Although moviegoers have now seen three different versions of the O.G. webslinger Peter Parker, there's another iteration of the popular superhero who has yet to make the leap from page to screen. But that could be changing soon, thanks to the news that Miles Morales is joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe, according to Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige in an interview with Screen Crunch ahead of the July 7 premiere of Spider-Man: Homecoming. The mind behind the MCU confirmed in the interview that Miles in fact already exists within the MCU… and, no offense to Tom Holland, but the character can't arrive onscreen fast enough.
Feige teased to Screen Crush that Miles' uncle Aaron Davis' presence in the upcoming film does confirm that Miles exists out there in the MCU somewhere — even if audiences haven't seen him yet. "All of those little things are just Easter eggs for fans until they're something more than that," Feige said about any potential references to Miles in Homecoming. "We definitely want you to go, 'He's there. He's there somewhere.'"
Holland made a splash when his take on Peter Parker arrived fully formed onscreen in 2016's Captain America: Civil War; audiences instantly took to his portrayal of the wisecracking youngster, and critics are already raving that Homecoming establishes the 21-year-old Brit is already the best live-action Spidey to grace the silver screen. But as terrific as Holland is, the fact remains that stories about Peter Parker have a fairly been-there-done-that feel to them, six movies in. What better way to change it up than to let Miles Morales take up the mantle, the mixed race teen who became Spider-Man in a groundbreaking storyline in the Ultimate Comics starting in 2011.
But just how will Miles make his debut in the MCU? It turns out his integration may be rather seamless… and it has a lot to do with the character that Atlanta star Donald Glover plays in Homecoming. No, the reported name of Glover's character — Aaron Davis — isn't some smoke screen to disguise the fact that he's actually playing Miles. Glover is a 33-year-old actor and Miles is teenage character.
To the uninitiated, this all might be a big mystery; after all, the only line Glover speaks in the most recent Spider-Man: Homecoming trailer is, "You've got to get better at this part of the job," spoken to Peter over scenes of Spider-Man getting kicked around and (literally) falling down on the job. So is Aaron some sort of mentor to Peter? Savvy comic fans will already know the truth: Aaron Davis is a mentor of sorts to Spider-Man in the comic books — but to the Miles version of the webslinger, not Peter… and Miles also happens to be Aaron's own nephew. Of course in the comics, (spoiler alert!) Aaron turns out to also be a career criminal known as the Prowler, and when he and his nephew learn the truth about each other's identities, they become unfortunate enemies.
How Aaron Davis knows Peter Parker is unclear, since the characters' paths never cross in the comics. In the comics, Peter dies before Miles ever takes up the mantle of Spider-Man — killed while finally defeating his arch-nemesis, Norman Osborne — which means the confirmation of Miles' presence in the MCU could mean ominous things for Holland's character.
But don't start mourning Peter Parker just yet. There's plenty of reason to believe that Tom Holland's version of the webslinger will be around for years to come. Not only is he confirmed to participate in the climactic events of Avengers: Infinity War, but the actor also let slip that Homecoming is the first in a planned trilogy of solo Spider-Man films centered on Holland's Peter Parker.
Holland even hopes to see his character mentoring Miles Morales onscreen, as he told Screen Rant in a recent interview. "That would be something that I would be very up for doing," he enthused. "It's something that I would really really hope to happen. I think Miles Morales is a great character, I think it would be fantastic to have an actor of color playing a superhero on screen, and I just think it's going to be something very cool and something very exciting for this universe."
Of course, having Peter and Miles exist alongside one another and operate as Spider-Man at the same time would require some major revisions of the source material, but the MCU is already known to play fast and loose when it comes to its adaptations, so one shouldn't necessarily rule out such a development.
Regardless of whether Peter takes Miles under his wing in one of the sequels to Homecoming, or whether Miles has to wait his turn to star in his own solo Spidey movie, Holland is certainly right about one thing: it would be fantastic to have an actor of color playing the Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man. (Maybe Stranger Things' Caleb McLaughlin, in what would certainly be an exciting collision of two popular sci-fi franchises?)
Fortunately, even though MCU fans may have to wait awhile to meet Miles Morales in the flesh, there's another two-dimensional version of the character coming to the big screen soon: Miles is the hero at the center of Sony's upcoming animated Spider-Man feature film — which is unrelated from any of Marvel's takes on the hero. He'll be voiced by The Get Down's Shameik Moore, alongside recent Oscar winner Mahershala Ali as Aaron Davis, from a script written by Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, the minds behind The Lego Movie (and also the former directors of the Young Han Solo spinoff).
With that animated movie hitting theaters in December of 2018, audiences may be getting two Miles Morales' for the price of one in the very near future.