Since Marvel finally got the rights back to Spider-Man (kind of), the question has been in the air of which Spider-Man it will be, and who should play him. Fans seem to be split on whether Marvel should introduce the web slinger to their Cinematic Universe using the guise of Peter Parker or Miles Morales. Personally I would love to see Morales on the big screen, though it would make sense to have Parker appear first. Nonetheless, if Marvel make the decision to go with Morales, the question then becomes: who should they cast? In the comics Morales acquires his spider-like abilities at age 13, but it is likely that Marvel would cast older, maybe high school age. Baring that in mind, these are my picks for the 10 actors that should have a shot to play Miles Morales… if Marvel goes in that direction.
10. Alfred Enoch – Who would’ve thought that Dean Thomas would become one of the bigger breakout stars to emerge from the Harry Potter franchise? Factoring slightly in to my pick of Alfred Enoch is the fact he’s a hot commodity right now with How to Get Away with Murder being the hit it is. Beyond that he’s likeable, a good actor and we know he can pull off an American accent. He’s not the obvious choice but as an outsider pick he could make a good Morales.
9. Aml Ameen – Dylan O’Brien is being talked about a lot for the role of Spider-Man should Marvel go the Peter Parker route, with some talk for Thomas Brodie-Sangster too, so why not another Maze Runner star? Aml Ameen was great in the movie and like with Enoch we know he can do an American accent. He’s done mainly dramas so far in his career but Spider-Man has always had a witty edge and this could be just the role to show his range.
8. Evan Ross – I haven’t seen much of this guy besides the recently released All the Wilderness starring Kodi Smit-McPhee (who was recently cast as Fox’s young Nightcrawler), but that role alone was enough to bump him on the list. This guy has a lot of charm to him and definitely looks the age (remember as I said I am imagining they will cast Morales as a teenager, likely a high schooler). He could make a potentially great Miles Morales.
7. Brandon T. Jackson – Now this guy fits the role. He’s funny, immensely likeable, and very charismatic. The Morales character may be more introverted than Parker, but he definitely has a jokey sarcastic side to him. Some family audiences may already be familiar with Jackson from the Percy Jackson franchise which happened to star another potential Peter Parker – Logan Lerman. The one thing working against him could be his age. If Marvel goes with Morales, as I said, they’d likely go for a teenage-aged character, which Jackson could not pull off. However neither could Garfield or Maguire and they got cast.
6. Nathan Stewart-Jarrett – Despite having only appeared in British shows and movies so far, Stewart-Jarrett has shown he can pull off a darker brand of comedy with shows like Utopia and cult hit Misfits, in the latter of which he happens to play a superhero. No his character does not possess powers anywhere close to those of our friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man, but the actor has great range and can pull off subtle comedy and intense drama. The only downside here is that we haven’t seen if he can do an American accent. Plus I miss Misfits and Utopia so I wanna see him in more stuff.
5. Jacob Anderson – The fourth and fianal Brit on my list already has a bit of nerd cred thanks to his role as Greyworm in Game of Thrones. Like Stewart-Jarrett we haven’t seen if he can pull off an American accent (I haven’t anyway) but he definitely looks the part – they even have the same hair line!
4. Keith Stanfield – Stanfield is kind of going through his own breakout phase at the moment with a role in the upcoming Straight Outta Compton and last year’s Selma, and although that’s not where my choice for Stanfield stemmed from he did have a small but poignant scene in that latter movie. Earlier than these, Stanfield showcased his talent in 2013’s Short Term 12, which is where my idea for his potential casting came from because he really shows his acting range in that movie. Particularly for any emotional moments and again, he has the right look for the part.
3. Tyler James Williams – Making an impact with Everybody Hates Chris almost a decade ago (wow, that’s gone fast), Tyler James Williams has been one of my favourite actors for a long time. But despite highly-praised roles in Everybody Hates Chris, Go On and last year’s Dear White People, AND despite being a recent cast member on The Walking Dead, Williams has yet to land that role to catapult him to superstardom. We know he can do comedy, we know he’s a likeable guy, we know he can play introverted thanks to Go On and he can pass for high school age no problem. There’s really not much that could go wrong here.
2. Donald Glover – Looking for the next Miles Morales? Why not the man that inspired the character? The actual conception of Miles Morales was drawn from Barack Obama back in 2008, and further reinforced by Glover’s appearance in the first episode of season 2 of Community “Anthropology 101” where he saw Spider Man pyjamas (side note: I frickin love Community). Donald Glover’s campaign for the role of Spider-Man that ultimately ended up going to Andrew Garfield made a huge mark with many going “yeah, why not a black Spider-Man on the big screen?” And despite not getting the role, a few years could be worth the wait for the versatile actor. As many know, Glover is an incredibly funny guy as we can see from his stint on Community and his stand-up special Weirdo (as well as a movie called Mystery Team which if you haven’t seen it, go see it. It’s hilarious), and he already has an alter-ego with his rapper persona Childish Gambino. A flimsy connection sure but how could I not mention Childish Gambino? I got all his albums, the amount of times I’ve listened to Sweatpants can’t even be put into a number. Also, he voiced Miles Morales in the Ultimate Spider-Man TV series! The big thing that could work against Glover is his age. Like Jackson the guy is far past high school age, but saying that he doesn’t look any older than Garfield did when he got the role so I see no reason why not.
1. Brandon Mychal Smith – Yeah the guy that topped the actual inspiration for Morales is someone you’ve likely never heard of. An obscure choice for number 1 considering he’s quite unknown, but from the little I have seen of this actor I think he’s the best pick for Miles Morales. I saw him in James Brown biopic Get On Up last year where he played Little Richard, and it just so happens that James Brown was played by Chadwick Boseman who has since been cast as Marvel’s Black Panther, meaning the two have worked together before. He was also on FX series You’re the Worst this past Summer where he was an absolute scene-stealer, something you have to imagine Spider-Man will do a lot of when partnered up with the Avengers. He’s also starring in NBC’s new comedy One Big Happy. Besides that he’s mostly rooted in Disney Channel origins of which I was unaware, so I bit the bullet and watched a couple of episodes of Sonny with a Chance to see if these would further justify him being my number 1 pick and guess what? They do! No the show isn’t for me but you can see from his Disney Channel tenure that this guy is perfect for Miles Morales. For one thing the guy is funny, and he has spot on timing. The guy is also innately fun to watch and in a Spider-Man something you want is fun. He’s likeable, he’s charismatic but I’m sure he can be serious when needs be and convey the conflicted emotions that Morales feels when coming to grips with his powers. Smith is unknown to the masses and this guy could not only bring Spider-Man to life but also launch a huge career from it. Marvel likes to give little-known or fading actors the chance to shine and to date there hasn’t been an actor who hasn’t benefited from a Marvel casting. I think Brandon Mychal Smith is the guy for Morales… but even if they want another Peter Parker I’m not opposed to a black Peter Parker. This guy could play either great, a few on this list could.
Who do you think should play Miles Morales? One of these ten choices or someone else? Or should they just go with Peter Parker?