The Twitter Campaign to Put Donald Glover in Marc Webb’s SPIDER-MAN Reboot

     May 31, 2010

Last week, we reported about five actors rumored to be on the shortlist to play Peter Parker in Marc Webb’s Spider-Man reboot. The website io9 ran an editorial about why they didn’t want yet another white guy superhero–a sentiment I couldn’t agree with more. The people in the comments section of the editorial came up with a sixth name that should be on the list: Donald Glover (Community, Mystery Team).  Glover is charismatic, funny, and age-appropriate for the role.  He’s also a huge fan of the character.  In response, the actor/writer/comedian began a Twitter campaign for the chance to audition for the role.  Tonight #donald4spiderman became the third-highest trending topic on Twitter.  The Facebook campaign has also amassed over 3,000 fans and climbing.

For more of my thoughts on why casting Glover would make the Spider-Man reboot worth it, hit the jump.

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I’ve had trouble finding a single person who thinks that Sony’s decision to reboot Spider-Man was a good idea.  We’ve heard “Oh, it will be gritty and contemporary” this time, as if the Raimi Spider-Man movies were mindless action films.  To cast Glover or any actor who challenges the notion of what Spider-Man has been or can be would provide a reason for this reboot’s existence, elevating it from the cynical cashgrab it currently is.

We ran an editorial last year suggesting that Will Smith would make a good Captain America.  The comments section exploded in controversy, even though there was at least some basis in the comics for a black Captain America.  I don’t know if fans would accept a non-white Spider-Man, but I don’t really care.  It’s not an affirmative-action move.  It’s asking the question: is there anything inherently white about Spider-Man’s story?  Yes, Stan Lee wrote Peter Parker as a white character, but is there anything about that character’s story that wouldn’t work for a man of any non-white ethnicity?

Even Glover says he shouldn’t be given the part outright, but I agree that he deserves the chance to at least audition.  I know studios are scared to do anything risky when it comes to an $80 million movie, but I’m willing to bet there’s going to be a lack of enthusiasm for this reboot if people don’t see anything fresh about it.  Casting a young, talented non-white actor for Spider-Man would get people talking about what is currently a movie with no reason to exist.

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