After spending years as the new Spider-Man in Marvel's comic book universe, Miles Morales, the afro-Puerto Rican teenager who takes up the Spider-Mantle after Peter Parker, is finally coming to the big screen in his own full-length feature film.
Yesterday, Sony Pictures (who co-owns the rights to the Spider-Man franchise with Marvel) took to Twitter to share a scant few details about the movie. The Lego Movie co-directors Philip Lord and Chris Miller are set to write the feature with Bob Persichetti and Peter Ramsey co-directing. The films is slated to be in theaters next December. And, perhaps most importantly, it'll be a "stand-alone" animated film.
While there's much about Miles' first big-screen adventure to be excited about (see: having a black co-director in Ramsey) there's a certain bittersweetness to the fact that it'll be animated considering the sheer number of times that Peter Parker has been given live-action moves to star in (seven different movies and two reboots.)
When it was first announced that Spider-Man would be coming back to Marvel's sprawling cinematic universe, many fans thought that Miles would be logical next step for Marvel and Sony to introduce audiences to a Spider-Man origin story that they weren't already overly familiar with. Instead, we got Tom Holland (who's, you know, fine) and the beginning of yet another series of stories about Peter Parker responsibly wielding his great powers.
Miles, on the other hand, has become one of the more prominently featured heroes in Marvel's books, starring in his own Spider-Man series and playing a key role in the publisher's recent Civil War II event. For all intents and purposes, Miles has been the Spider-Man for a while now, which makes seeing him relegated to a stand-alone animated feature somewhat disappointing.
While there's no reason that young black and brown kids can't look up to cartoon character, there's much to be said for seeing those cartoon characters translated onto the big screen as living, breathing people as opposed to two-dimensional drawings. It's unclear how, if at all, Miles' movie will connect to Spider-Man: Homecoming, but given that Miles' origin story traditionally involves Peter Parker's death, it's doubtful that Miles will be swinging across the screen with Thor and Captain America anytime soon.
At a time when Marvel's heavily leaning into the fact that there are a lot of male and female spider-heroes of different races running around and teaming up, it's a more than a little bit of a let down to see that when fans get to meet cinematic Miles for the first time next year, he'll probably be swinging through a walled-garden all by himself.