Donald Glover has been able to do a lot throughout his career, though there’s one specific gig he was never able to land. Years ago, the rapper (who’s also known as Childish Gambino) was eager to play a live-action version of Marvel’s Miles Morales a.k.a. Spider-Man. However, that never came to fruition, though he did voice an animated Miles on the Ultimate Spider-Man animated series. Glover now believes he wouldn’t be a fit for the part, and that’s fine with me. Because I believe he’s perfect for another character that he mentioned.
Some may not remember, but the actor and musician was actually the physical basis for Miles Morales years ago. The character’s creator, Brian Michael Bendis, was partially inspired to create the hero after seeing Donald Glover in Spidey pajamas during a 2010 episode of Community. By 2011, Morales was swinging across comic book panels and eventually became a hit with readers. Considering his impact on the web-slinger, many expected him to don a costume and play in a live-action production.
The comments that the “Redbone” singer recently shared with Vanity Fair suggest that he’s at peace with that ship having sailed, though. He and his Mr. and Mrs. Smith co-star, Maya Erskine, participated in a lie detector test segment for the news outlet. When the comedian was hooked up to the machine, he was asked if he thought his brief cameo in the critically acclaimed Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse was Sony’s way of apologizing for not casting him as Miles. The 40-year-old star then provided a level-headed answer:
No. [Laughs] I don’t even think [Sony] even thought about it. There’s definitely probably going to be like a Miles Morales live-action [interpretation] eventually, and think they’re probably more concerned with me being like, Prowler in that or something like that. I’m too old to be Spider-Man now. … I can’t be talking about, ‘I need to roll out my IT band [as] Spider-Man.
Unless the character “dies or something like that,” Donald Glover wouldn’t be eager to play the young hero at this point. He provided some interesting comments and, of course, what strikes me most about them are his sentiments about playing a live-action Prowler. That would honestly make sense for him for a number of reasons.
For one, he already appeared as the character’s alter ego, Aaron Davis, in the Marvel Cinematic Universe-set movie Spider-Man: Homecoming. He was also going to be brought back in Far From Home, the film's 2019 sequel. What’s more is that he actually appeared as a live-action version of the costumed vigilante in Across the Spider-Verse in 2023. It was an Easter egg that even Daniel Kaluuya loved, considering its link to his character, Spider-Punk.
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The Atlanta star also makes a good point in that Marvel Studios and Sony are probably going to make a live-action movie centered around Miles at some point. I’d imagine that it’ll take place in the MCU and, if that’s the case, it’s all the more reason for the actor to simply reprise his role. To be clear, a film revolving around Peter Parker’s successor has not been announced at this point yet, if the two studios are cooking it up, I’d hope that they’re considering this potential casting option.
In the meantime, Donald Glover has other plans within the ever-expanding Spider-Verse. It was reported in late 2022, that Glover is working on a Spidey spinoff centered around the character known as the Hypno-Hustler. The multihyphenate is set to produce and star in the lead role. Should that project get off the ground, I’m sure he'll do something interesting with it, but I’m still holding out hope that he gets a true shot at playing the Prowler.
You can see Donald Glover’s work on Ultimate Spider-Man and in Homecoming by steaming them with a Disney+ subscription. All the while, Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse is available to Netflix subscribers.