‘Marvel’s Spider-Man’: Nadji Jeter on Bringing Miles Morales into the Spotlight

     September 22, 2017

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Some spoilers ahead for the upcoming episode of Marvel’s Spider-Man.

Marvel’s Spider-Man has already introduced a bunch of fan-favorite heroes and villains from the pages of Marvel Comics, even if not all of them have super-powers or colorful costumes just yet. For Miles Morales, that’s about to change. Fans of the character, a relatively recent addition to the Spider-Man canon, have already met Miles this season as one of the youngest and brightest students at Horizon High, but this weekend’s episode is going to give him a whole new dimension.

Nadji Jeter, the voice and performer behind Miles, is super excited for fans to see this episode, titled “Ultimate Spider-Man”, because it’s going to change things in a big way for the animated series. Appearing on Disney XD Saturday September 23rd at 8am, this episode sees Miles bitten by an experimental spider resulting in brand-new spider powers. It isn’t long before Spider-Man himself must teach Miles the responsibilities of being a super hero. I had a chance to talk to Jeter ahead of the new episode to get an idea of what Miles Morales means to him and the character’s fans around the world.

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Image via Disney XD

Here’s his take on the upcoming episode and its reveal:

Nadji Jeter: It’s been overwhelming because this episode coming up is going to have such an impact. I’m so excited for everyone to see this.

Jeter’s chance to play Miles Morales came in a traditional way, but he wasn’t about to let the opportunity slip through his fingers:

Jeter: It came as a voiceover audition from my agent. They gave me a good character description and background of the show and Miles Morales, as well. I went in and they loved me after that. They could see that I took it seriously and it was something that I really wanted.

Here’s how Jeter reacted to the news that he’d be voicing Miles:

Jeter: I was calling family, I was calling friends, because I knew the impact that Miles had on the Marvel world. I have an uncle who is a huge, huge comic book fan and he’s a huge Miles Morales fan. When he was a kid in the 80s and 90s, he had all the Spider-Man comics. So he gave me more of a push to really carry this character.

He’s such a young kid with such a great responsibility, and with great power comes great responsibility. I think with Miles, he has this inner kid that’s in me still, so I had the opportunity to bring it out. He’s so energetic, so fun and loving and playful. At the same time, he’s a superhero, and he doesn’t have that ego of a superhero because he’s 13 years old, he’s just a kid.

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Image via Disney XD

After nailing his audition, the show’s creative team offered one bit of direction to Jeter for Miles:

Jeter: Marvel gave me some great direction. From my understanding, he was the youngest kid in Horizon High, a playful kid who had a great responsibility, so what I took from that was channeling my inner kid and what I knew from Miles and his upbringing and background. Once that was said in the show, they said, “That’s perfect, but put a little more youth on him.” That’s a lot of the direction that’s given every Friday as to how to channel into Miles’ head. But I think people are really going to connect with Miles because of how young and fun-loving and humble he is.

We do a group recording every other Friday. All of us in one big booth, just having fun while also taking our job very seriously. All just going with it. It’s more of a great vibe than being alone, by yourself. You get more of a feel of feeding off the characters and just being in that environment, in that headspace.

Miles gets some incredible powers in this episode, powers that even Peter Parker doesn’t have:

Jeter: People are definitely going to see the switch in the voice, the character, everything. Before he had his powers, he’s the youngest kid at Horizon High, so he had Peter Parker and all these other classmates … but at the same time, Miles is a genius, one of the smartest kids at Horizon.

I’m a fan of how they introduce his powers because it reflects on the original Peter Parker and how he got his powers. It’s going to show some relation, and at the same time, a little difference. He’s younger than Peter, so you’re going to see a difference in how they handle these powers that they both get and endure. It was fun to see how it all built up to that.

Television