Spider-Man: Homecoming released its first trailer recently, and the hype cycle got going for Marvel’s most exciting project in a while. Yeah, we’ve seen Spider-Man 17 times before (okay, five, but you know what it feels like), but this is the first time Marvel Studios will be in charge. And after Spidey’s brief but amusing debut in Captain America: Civil War, fans are pretty hooked on this latest take already.
Truth be told, Tom Holland seems pretty up to the task of playing a younger version of Peter Parker. He’s a capable actor and well suited to Marvel’s vision. But let’s be honest: we’re all pretty frustrated that this role didn’t go to Donald Glover, and here are five reasons why it really should have.
1. We All Thought It Would Freaking Happen
Maybe the internet jumped the gun on this one. It has a tendency to do that, and the increasingly popular Glover has been rumored for roles from Spider-Man to Lando Calrissian. Then again, he got the Lando role, and he’s in the cast for Spider-Man: Homecoming, so it’s not like we’re outright crazy. We just had him pegged in the wrong role (his actual role isn’t announced yet).
2. Marvel Doesn’t Understand Diversity Yet
We posted before about Marvel’s first black lead in Luke Cage, and sure, there’s a Black Panther solo film on the way. But Marvel, under constant (justified) pressure to diversify its casts, doesn’t seem to get the point. With Spider-Man: Homecoming, they’ve basically packed a cast with black actors and actresses in small, supporting roles. But the big parts—Peter Parker, The Vulture, and Aunt May (not to mention Tony Stark)—are reserved for white stars. They’re all fine actors, but it’s a little annoying to see Marvel answer calls for diversity by populating smaller roles with African-Americans. Glover in the lead role would have been a different story.
3. Spider-Man Is Stale
As mentioned, we’ve seen five Spider-Man films in series directed by two different filmmakers, Sam Raimi (3 films) and Marc Webb (2 films). But think about the character like this…. A popular Spider-Man mobile game (Spider-Man Unlimited) uses the Green Goblin (as both film series did) as a main villain. Meanwhile, you may not have stumbled across it, but as part of a collection of online slot reviews, you’ll also come across a Spider-Man game featuring—you guessed it—the Green Goblin as a nemesis. Parker has been in the same situation with a similar persona, and fighting against the same villain for well over a decade. Casting a black actor in the role doesn’t fix all (or necessarily any) of this, but it would have at least been different, and this character needs it badly. Even his video games have gotten repetitive!
4. This Thing Is Meant To Be Funny
Marvel always tries to throw a few laughs our way, but judging by the trailer mentioned previously, Spider-Man: Homecoming is meant to be pretty funny. It opens with Parker recognizing bad guys robbing in Avengers masks as “not the real Avengers,” and later on Parker even earns himself an eye roll for checking out a female classmate. Holland appears to be pretty natural with this brand of humor, but Glover is the master of subtle chuckle moments. He’d have been perfect for a funny role in a genre that’s not always as funny as it thinks it can be.
5. The Reviews Are In….
For a while, Donald Glover had some very specific pockets of fans. Some loved him for his musical alter-ego, Childish Gambino; others were fans of his performance in Community; and still others preferred his comedy writing and routines. But Glover has now created and starred in his own TV show (FX’s Atlanta), and the reviews are in: the show is a massive hit. It was also just nominated for a Golden Globe. In other words, Glover isn’t just a favorite in certain niches anymore—he’s a legitimate rising star.
…And he’d have been a great Spider-Man….
Author info: Guest post by Ryan Adderley, a freelance entertainment writer from Boston who’s still campaigning for Donald Glover to portray Spider-Man.