Well, the streets are talking—more like shouting. The new Spider-Man was announced yesterday and folks are hopping mad.
Tom Holland, best known for his role in a London production of Billy Elliott the Musical, beat out other barely knowns such as Asa Butterfield and others who I don’t know. Holland will take on the legendary role of Peter Parker for both the Spider-Man reboot and the upcoming Captain America: Civil War. This casting has sent a tidal wave through the online community.
Like many issues in America today, racism, sexism, and ageism have all reared their ugly heads in this debate over the new Spider-Man. The Twitterverse and other online forums, have excoriated this new choice. Too bad, Tom, but you already have uphill battle.
So, yep, another white dude. First, fans are upset that a comic book movie yet again chose a white male for a lead. Throngs of fans including Andrew Garfield insist that the New Spider-Man be Miles Morales. Morales, born of Puerto Rican and African American heritage is the current Spider-Man in the Marvel Comic Universe. The hope was that his story be brought to the cinema. Morales, ever the modern hero is charismatic, but I feel Parker’s jouney has not been handled well since the original series with Tobey Maguire. ( I hated Andrew Garfield’s Spider-Man. There was too much teenage angst and not enough wonder. I don’t want a brooding Spider-Man. Leave that to Daredevil.) There is still so much more of Peter Parker’s story to be delved into, and I think in the hands of Marvel that it would be a shame to not see how they would handle their most recognizable hero. I think Miles would be good in the television format, so the general audience could get time to know him.
Next up on the list of grievances is Holland’s age. Although nineteen, he looks awfully young. Peter Parker is supposed to be a teenager, but some fans feel Holland is too youthful? This is specious, at best. Parker is supposed to be a teenager. I would agree that I would like for them to move beyond the teen years. We’ve been promised from the head of Marvel, Kevin Feige that we will not have to sit through another origin story. If I have to watch Uncle Ben die one mo gin, I will walk out of that theater. We’ve mourned Uncle Ben twice. Let the man have his rest. I would like for them to skip past high school. I would much rather see more college-age Parker. It would be a nice curve ball to see the tension between Peter Parker and Felicia Hardy. Spidey and Black Cat, the jewel thief could provide a nice sexual tension reminiscent of Batman and Catwoman. This would be a satisfying antidote to the saccharine sweet romance of Parker and Mary Jane and Parker and Gwen Stacy.
Finally, people are incensed that we’re even talking about another Spider-Man movie. Peter Parker is on the big screen and not Black Widow in her own movie. I must say that I agree. Although I would not characterize myself much of a feminist, I would think that Marvel would reward Scarlett Johansson with her own picture. Marvel has a knack for creating intriguing female heroines and Widow is among the most intriguing. Black Widow has been as much of a consistent presence as Iron Man in Marvel’s Cinematic Universe. Her storied history in the comics would make for compelling fodder for a cinematic treatment. Her beginnings as a Russian spy would be an interesting launching off point, especially after it was only touched on in the Age of Ultron.
With all that being said, I think we should take a cautiously optimistic hope for the new series. In Marvel’s hand would may get the best iteration of our webbed friend. After all, Spider-Man is dope!