Baltimore Sun

A black Spider-Man? Yes, please!

It doesn't seem like it was that long ago that Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst were on the silver screen as Peter Parker and his lady love Mary Jane Watson.

After all, the third installment of the series came out a mere three years ago. But the ongoing glut of comic-book adaptations now includes a planned reboot of the Spider-Man series.


While the search is on for the next Spidey, the rumored shortlist is pretty uninspiring to me. There's the guy who played a creepy young Voldemort (that's right, your name has no power over me, Voldy!) in the Harry Potter series, and a grown up Billy Elliott. But besides just being rather dull, the list is also missing any minorities.

And as a traditionally white superhero, that's not necessarily a problem. But.


Why shouldn't Peter Parker be black? The defining characteristics of Parker include growing up in NYC with his aunt and uncle, crushing on the girl next door, taking photos for the daily paper and, oh yeah, getting bitten by a radioactive spider and developing superpowers.

So besides that last one, Parker's life sounds pretty universal to me.

That's where Community star Donald Glover comes in. As a Spider-man fan, he's been leading a campaign on Twitter, #Donald4Spiderman, for the past couple of weeks, and the accompanying Facebook group has thousands of followers. Just when I thought I didn't care about another Spider-man movie, the idea of this talented young nerd actor as the lead has got me pretty excited.

And, as io9 pointed out, we've already been denied a Captain America portrayed by Will Smith. So come on, throw all those nonwhite comic book fans a bone here. Let's see a superhero that a diverse crowd can relate to, and let Spider-man's skin tone just be another incidental part of the whole.

There are some who worry that casting a minority actor in the titular role of a $70-plus million film is too risky. Then again, reinventing the myths and legends we all grew up with has done wonders for the careers of Neil Gaiman, Gregory Maguire and Seth Grahame-Smith.

And I really don't think we could get any worse than "Superman Returns," right?

(AFP/Getty photo)