The director of the upcoming Spider-Man reboot has hinted to Yahoo Movies that Miles Morales – the mixed-race character who replaced Peter Parker as the webslinger in the comic books – may still be in the new movie.
Jon Watts, whose critically-acclaimed thriller ‘Cop Car’ is available now digitally, seemed to suggest Morales – who was introduced in 2011 in the Ultimate series and whose parents are African-American and Puerto Rican – might appear alongside Parker (played by Tom Holland) when asked whether there’d been any serious discussions about him being the main character.
“I can’t talk about that, because, you know, that will reveal too much,” he tells us. “We’re still writing the story…we haven’t finished all the way through the story yet, so who knows.”
No denial that Morales wasn’t part of the cast? Saying talking about it will “reveal too much”? Sounds like a yes (kind of) to us.
British actor Holland will also appear in ‘Captain America – Civil War’ as well as well as his own new film, but when the project was announced, there was talk that the producers might decide the time had come to choose Morales as the superhero.
There were even casting rumours, including Donald Glover (‘The Martian’) and Marcus Scribner, who stars on US sitcom ‘Black-ish’. Watts’ understandably evasive reply (the Marvel Universe is a tightly-run ship) would please critics who argue the comic book genre still lacks diversity, while teeing up some intriguing discussions about how Morales might fit into the narrative.
What we do know is that the reboot is another fresh beginning for the franchise, after the underwhelming performance of ‘The Amazing Spider-Man 2’. There’s still little to go on other than the casting of Holland and Marisa Tomei as Aunt May, though the film is thought to focus more on Peter’s teenagedom a la John Hughes.
Watts scored the directorial gig after Marvel bosses were impressed by ‘Cop Car’, which features a corrupt sheriff played by Kevin Bacon trying to rescue his vehicle, complete with dodgy cargo, from two kids who have taken it for a joyride.
“It’s really funny because right before James Gunn did ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ he did a movie with Kevin,” explains the filmmaker. “So I think you work with Kevin Bacon and then you immediately get to do a Marvel movie. You have to pay him back in some way, like the amazing ‘Footloose’ monologue in ‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ that Chris Pratt has. I’ve got to figure something out or Kevin will send his people to get me.”
‘Cop Car’ has been wowing festival crowds all over the world and Watts’ handling of the young actors, as well as his ability to generate suspense, are certainly qualities that will have appealed to the ‘Spider-Man’ producers.
Not only that, but his description of the low-budget indie could apply to the blockbuster he’s about to undertake, calling it, “a sweet, little coming-of-age movie for a little bit – and then they stumble into the real world.”
The director admits that he hadn’t been hired by Marvel when Peter Parker’s casting process got underway, but is clearly a huge fan of what 19-year-old Holland brings to the table.
“He’s sweet, but he seems like he’d be really morally grounded and he can be a little dorky when you need him to,” says Watts. “Also, he was in Billy Elliot in the West End, so he can actually just do a backflip. He’s already a lot closer to being Spider-Man than you think.”
‘Cop Car’ is available digitally now and on DVD and Blu-ray from 19 October.
Photos: Rex_Shutterstock/Getty Images/Marvel