Ever since it was revealed earlier this month that Marvel Studios had cut a deal with Sony to bring Spider-Man into the proper Marvel cinematic universe, I've been vocal on Twitter and elsewhere that I hope they go with the modern Miles Morales identity for Spider-Man rather than the classic Peter Parker. Against my own expectations, it sounds like this wish may actually come true.
SlashFilm is reporting on this big rumor via the latest episode of the Meet the Movie Press podcast. During that show, film reporter Jeff Sneider told the panel, "Listen, this is not set in stone guys, but I'm telling you right now, Spider-Man's not going to be white."
Sneider went on to say that he was "95% sure" of this information and that Marvel Studios' version of Spider-Man will most likely be black or Latino. Sneider said he doesn't think the character will be Peter Parker, and the idea of a black or Latino Spider-Man certainly fits with Morales, who is both.
For those unfamiliar with the character, Miles Morales (pictured in his version of the Spider-Man outfit above) took over as everyone's favorite webslinger in Marvel's Ultimate line of comics in 2011. In that universe, original Spider-Man Peter Parker died, and Morales, who had received similar but modified powers, replaced him.
As for why I'm so excited about this possible choice? In addition to adding to the desperate need for more diversity in Marvel's superhero line-up, switching Spider-Man to Miles Morales would help solve one of the biggest problems facing Marvel: the necessity of a third Spider-Man origin story since the original Spidey film trilogy back in 2002. With Morales under the mask, even if Marvel chose to give us another origin, it would be a fresh tale compared to yet another rendition of "With great power comes great responsibility."
Interestingly, Sneider notes that part of the motivation for this decision is related to last year's Sony Pictures hack, which included leaked e-mails that first revealed that Sony and Marvel Studios may be in talks regarding Spider-Man.
"...the e-mails that leaked were perceived as racist in some quarters," said Sneider. "I really think that's going to play into things."
Sneider also said it would give Sony a chance to "beat Marvel and DC to the punch with a major black comic book character," although presumably Marvel Studios would also have some say in this decision.
While it's hard to tell how much of this is speculation and how much is insider knowledge, it's worth noting that Jeff Sneider is a generally well-respected film reporter who has a reputation for breaking news. It's also worth noting that Miles Morales is the correct and best choice for the new Spider-Man movie. Make it happen, Marvel!