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Donald Glover For Spider-Man?

Over the weekend, Marc Bernardin penned an editorial arguing that “the last thing Spider-Man should be is another white guy.” He writes:

[Why] couldn’t Peter Parker be played by a black or a Hispanic actor? How does that invalidate who Peter Parker is? I’m not saying that the producers need to force the issue; that they need to cast a minority just for the sake of it — but in the face of such underwhelming options like Billy Elliot and the kid who played young Voldemort, why not broaden the search? …

And don’t tell me it’s because an actor of color would hurt the box office: Not only is Spider-Man one of the most recognizable fictional characters on the planet, and managed to do just fine with Tobey “Snoozeville” Maguire playing him, whoever they cast WILL BE IN A MASK FOR HALF THE DAMNED MOVIE. AND ON THE POSTER.

In the comments section of the editorial, certain fans began pushing for Mystery Team and Community star Donald Glover as their non-white pick for Peter Parker in the upcoming Spider-Man reboot. The suggestions caught Glover’s own attention, prompting the actor to spearhead a #donald4spiderman movement, resulting in the third highest trending topic on Twitter last evening and a Facebook page with over 3,500 members and counting.

Glover doesn’t want the role of Spider-Man handed to him, however — he wants to earn the part, as he explained: “Some people are mistaken. I don’t want to just be given the role. I want to be able to audition. I truly love Spider-Man.”

It’s pretty amazing that this movement has caught so much fire in such short time, but I can’t say I’m particularly surprised. I’m a big fan of the core trio of Derrick Comedy, but Glover is easily the most talented and well-rounded. I could see him breaking out from pure comedy into a role with dramatic flourishes ala Peter Parker. Whether or not this fan movement pans out in his favor remains to be seen, but I would definitely be interested to see what he could bring to the Spider-Man franchise.

What do you think, readers? Would you endorse Donald Glover for Spider-Man? How would you feel about seeing a non-white actor playing Peter Parker on the big screen? Discuss your thoughts in the comments section below!

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  • Ninjazilla

    Love him in Community but a terrible choice for Spidey.

  • Trevor


  • Magiblack

    I would be done with anything involving Spider-Man if they made him black. And keep in mind I'm am a young black man myself.

  • cfoshinx

    His arguments aren't all that bad. I'm black, I am not biased and I would see it. We have white people or americans taking roles that aren't meant for them all the time re: Prince of Persia, The Last AirBender, Sherlock Holmes…and NO ONE bats an eye. Would a black or hispanic spider-man DESTROY everything? Really? This is an issue that requires true understanding of ourselves, and our comfort zone…someone tell me WHY it can't be done…and don't use the ” that's the way he looked in the source material” argument because clearly it doesn't apply to white/american actors…

  • logos

    I DONT GET IT. Its ok to have Esleworld,What if?,1602, and god know how many different telling of a hero beginning. But people cant be ok with this. this is one of the many reasons people dont take comics seriously, too many close-minded fanboys.

  • demoncat

    if he is willing to put up with the way sony does the spider man films and the costum to me it does not matter who is playing spider man . though the odd chance he does not get the job i can see him as a contender if marvel can ever get a black panther film made. Donald should at least be given a chance to try for spider man .

  • TwinPistols

    I'm a black man, and I'm all for more leading roles for blacks, women and all minorities, but this isn't the way to go about it, in my humble opinion. I don't like when they change the race of characters for movies, because I think it's too drastic of a change. Race does play a role in life experiences, and it's a part of the identity of the character, even more than that character's nationality. (I'd love to see a British actor play John Constantine one day, but I've given up hope of that ::sigh::)

    As much as I like Michael Clarke Duncan, I would have liked to see a caucasian actor play The Kingpin (but he did an excellent job). I also didn't like it when they cast D. B. Sweeney as Terry Fitzgerald for Spawn….Ok, I didn't like the movie Spawn either, but that's besides the point.

    Also, I think it's more beneficial for minority characters to stand on their own, rather than be created from existing white characters. That means no black Spider-Man, no black Superman, and no black James Bond. It means another Blade film (reboot), a Black Panther film, a Luke Cage film, and maybe an X-Men Origins: Storm film. How about a Cyborg film? I understand people's concerns about the Last Airbender and The Prince of Persia, but two wrongs don't make it right. Instead of Spidey, Mr. Glover should be cast as the lead in a new Static film.

    That'd be perfect.

  • VanGoghX

    The producers (and the fans) should be open-minded about this and give him a chance to read for the part. If he nails it then why not? As long as Peter Parker is Peter Parker and the character isn't changed then I'm all for it. I've read probably 1,000 Spidey comics over the past 35 years and I think the important thing is that it's a small, nerdy kid who gets his ass kicked when in school but has had this freakish accident that makes him more than he appears. Give the guy a shot! Don't hand it to him though, being a Spidey fan isn't enough. (If it was, *I* would be Spider-Man. ~weg~)

  • Bry

    Reposting my comments from elsewhere, because hey why not:

    Noticed the story on a few other comic blogs yesterday, and the reaction's sadly been about what you'd expect (from *some* fans, not all, to be fair). And honestly, I have to ask – what about the character of Peter Parker says he must specifically be white, beyond that being how he's traditonally been portrayed?

    I've followed Derrick for a while and I absolutely love “Community”. Glover definitely has the comedy chops – and the comedy aspect of the character was lacking a bit in the Raimi movies, so I think that's important. If he can pull off the character as a whole (and I believe he can) then I'm all for it. I'm definitely more interested in watching Glover as Spidey than any of the emo-looking kids that are apparently in the running.

  • Raymond

    And he's going to have an Uncle Ben?

  • Styphax

    This would be an interesting thing, Glover as Spiderman, it'd sure turn a lot of Hollywood on its head if it does well.

  • MJF

    I, for one, would really like to see him take on the role. It'd be an interesting change for the character and it would really set the new series of films apart from the previous trilogy. Glover is a talented guy, he's great on Community and he also wrote 30 Rock for a while.

    Realistically, I don't really see it happening as I think the studio may perceive changing Spidey's race as too much of a risk. But, as a white guy who's been a Spider-Man fan his whole life, I'd buy a ticket.

  • Rollo Tomassi

    Your comic brevity made me laugh, sir. Kudos. :)

  • Rollo Tomassi

    I say let him try out for the part.

    The only reason Peter Parker is white is because of the conventions of the era in which he was created. Conventions which no longer apply 50 years later. If Stan Lee had created Spider-Man this year, he may very well have been black.

  • Omni-man

    Why not a monkey? People love movies with monkeys in them, or a talking dog.

  • Vincent

    You know what I really think fans should do? We should push minority and female super heroes! Prove to Hollywood that a Static Shock movie would kick ass! Get pissed that we still haven’t seen a Wonder Woman movie, but they’re willing to keep crapping out X-men movies! Ask how come the wasp hasn’t been confirmed in the Avengers movie, when she was a founding member! These are the topics fans should be pushing.

  • Kevin


  • Derrick Roberts

    I really don't care who they get to play Spidey. Only thing I did not like was when Bernardin called Toby Snoozeville. That's a good way to make an argument. You might not have liked him in the part, but a lot did. Don't criticize other actors to try and make your point. Let the actor's work speak for itself. Hell, I would rather see a Spider-Girl movie.

  • DaMak

    I agree with you 100%. As an african american I believe what we need to do is take what is ours and make the best of it. I like spidey the way he is. Keep him white. But make him funny.

  • Matt K

    Honestly, the first Spiderman movie came out not that long ago and I definitely wouldn't bother with seeing the new movie in theaters unless they did something dramatically different. Casting a minority actor as Spidy would be enough to get me into the theater to see how they pulled it off.

  • Ronnie

    Glover would make a fantastic Peter Parker.

  • Emmman_casacop

    putan ires naman yan oo

  • Jaurez

    but Peter Parker is white… it wouldn’t look right. Like having a black James Bond, or a white Shaft. It’s not about discrimination, it’s about playing a role, and some people aren’t suited to it. If you’re going to make spidey black, why not make him female?

  • Fallout Man

    With such commitment to the spiderman character, I could him contributing well to the film, even if he is not Spider-man/ Peter Parker himself. Just putting that out there as something to consider….

  • Ugachaka

    Both camps have valid reasons for either character to take the stage. But will honestly a fictious film character change the problems of how society views race? Color is the first thing everyone sees in relating to one another but in terms of a character that wears a mask does it really matter? Does him being of mix race make him more heroic than Peter and vice versa?N0 it makes it more “accepting” to people of colors wallets. This has nothing to do with validiting non white heroes. We dont need fictional heroes to validate our existence. We have real one that matter more than a pop icon. I wonder when the actual concrete details of Captain Marvel are anounced will people care if it is Monica or Carol? Probably not, but we shall see.

  • Josiah Silas Michael

    So I guess that just means you’re narrow minded but not racist. Congratulations.

  • joe1987a

    Oh, really? I heard plenty of people complain about the casting of Prince of Persia and (especially) The Last Air Bender.

  • joe1987a

    No. Just . . . no. Miles Morales was nothing but a desperate attempt to be PC. With news that Marvel Studios will now be involved with Spidey’s big-screen future, everybody is going to be looking for them to finally get a really good, faithful version made. So switching Spidey to Miles Morales or casting a black Peter Parker would just be too out-of-left-field with those expectations. Marc Bernardin’s statement is incredibly racist and he should be ashamed of himself. No one would ever say “The last thing Blade should be is another black guy.”

  • Django Fett

    3 bullets:
    * Miles
    * Mention that Parker has been dead for 10 years (inside joke with 2004 Spiderman 2 being the last “real” Spiderman film.)
    * Drop clues in Miles’ franchise to find out how Parker died and bring Tobey back for “his” Spidey 4 – making everything come full circle.

    ~drops mic~

  • Pablo Estella

    Casting Peter in a non white actor is indeed just for the sake of it….They insist that peter should be non white, and then say that anyays he will have a mask for the most part of the movie…so?Why do they insist in a non white actor?

    I think that people on favor of minorities should work in real issues and not on changing the color of a fictional character.

    And the have a lack of vision too, what if we haver a white Peter Parker, AND Miles Morales? TOGHETER on the big screen? Introduce Peter in the MCU, and the in the next solo Spidey add Miles…wouldnt that be much cooler?

    But no…cast peter in a black guy….i hope the people in favor , actually works in something tangible and important to benefits the minorities in their society .if not, then shut up and stop pretending you care

  • Demetri Gorjaczew

    if they are going to make spidey black then they might as well go with the Miles Morales storyline

  • hayek003

    Why do that when we could just have miles morales

  • Pablo Estella

    What about the character of Peter Parker says he must specifically be white?
    He was CREATED as a white boy….why CHANGE that??
    Kids around the world LOVE Spidey just the way he IS, why change something juts for the sake of it?
    let me ask you
    What about the character of Ororo Monroe (Storm) says she must specifically be black?…that sounded weird right?

  • Pablo Estella

    the most logical comment I read on this topic , congratulations. Agreed 100%

  • RobotShlomo

    That’s the most honest answer I’m going to read all day.

    You sir have won the internet!

  • Andy

    Arguing for Spidey to be black is not racist but preferring him to remain white is? What kinda screwed up mentality is that?

  • Devils Advocate

    Nicholas Cage wants to play Martin Luther King..does anyone have an issue with that?