Using the most advanced computer technology ever invented, and a proprietary algorithm devised by a secret government think tank, The Dissolve created The Speculometron to determine the mathematical probability of the Internet’s latest movie rumors.
Rumor: Sony and Marvel want a non-white actor to play Spider-Man.
Evidence: It’s hearsay, but let’s hear it out: On a podcast called Meet The Movie Press, Jeff Sneider from The Wrap offered this quote: “I am 95 percent sure Spider-Man’s gonna be, most likely, black. But there’s also a chance he could be Latino. 95 percent sure, not white.”
The Speculometron’s calculations: There’s a lot of math here, but every step of it pushes this rumor in the direction of looking pretty plausible. Cast your mind back to 2010: Sony has announced that it’s rebooting the Spider-Man series, pushing it in a new, exciting, non-Sam Raimi direction. A fan campaign began in hopes of enlisting Donald Glover, star of Community and Childish Gambino albums, to take over the role. That campaign ended up fizzling out, but it’s had a curious afterlife. August 2011 saw the debut of a character called Miles Morales, who soon took over the identity of Spider-Man in Marvel’s Ultimate universe.
Backing up a bit further, the Ultimate universe has been around since the year 2000 and was born of an attempt to create a simpler, streamlined, younger version of the Marvel universe that might appeal to new readers. The Ultimates served as a direct inspiration for the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but both that title and others in the Ultimate line have seen diminishing returns over the years. One consistent highlight has been Ultimate Spider-Man, written throughout its run by Brian Michael Bendis. Itself an inspiration for the movies—Raimi drew on it for his Spider-Man films—Ultimate Spider-Man initially starred the Ultimate version of Peter Parker. But when Bendis killed off his Parker in 2011, he brought Morales—a character of African-American and Latino descent—center stage.
So could Morales be the MCU’s Spider-Man? Let’s put a hard “maybe” on that. Sneider goes on to suggest that the new Spider-Man might not be Parker, so who else could it be? And here’s the thing: That could be a great move. As terrific a character as Parker is, we’ve had five movies with one version of Peter Parker or another, and Morales is a terrific character, too. It doesn’t hurt that he’s one of the best superheroes around, but in the four years of his fictional existence, he’s been a compelling protagonist as he’s struggled with his new powers, what they mean to his family, who he is, and how can he use his gifts ethically. He’s struggled to balance power and responsibility with each issue, making him a fine heir to Parker’s costume.
What’s more, Marvel’s upcoming Secret Wars comics may be ending the Ultimate universe and bringing Morales to the Marvel comics mainstream, which could increase the character’s profile. Also, he’s young, which dovetails with another rumor: that Marvel and Sony would like to keep the character a teenager. (The downside: If that’s the case, that probably rules out Glover, though he has gotten a chance to voice Morales on Disney XD’s Ultimate Spider-Man: Web Warriors .)
Odds: 3 to 1