A potential SPOILER ALERT should be noted while reading this article.
We are close to a month left until the Marvel Cinematic Universe film Spider-Man: Homecoming is released, and we still do not know for sure who Stone Mountain-raised actor Donald Glover will portray. Before we can even ponder on the various characters he could be playing, here is a brief history on him:
Most notably, Donald Glover had been “spitting venom” on stage under the rap moniker Childish Gambino, a name he created with the use of a Wu-Tang Clan Name Generator. Since 2008, he released 7 mixtapes, 2 EPs, and 3 studio albums; he received two Grammy Award Nominations, one for his 2013 studio album Because The Internet and another for its hit song “3005.”
From 2006 to 2009, Glover wrote for the NBC show 30 Rock, then left to join the NBC comedy series Community in 2009 as character Troy Barnes. In its second season premiere, his character was seen in Spider-Man pajamas. This led to a Twitter campaign under the hashtag #donald4spiderman, which began circulating on the web (no pun intended) in 2011, when Sony rebooted the Spider-Man franchise with director Marc Webb’s (coincidental pun) The Amazing Spider-Man (TASM). Unfortunately, as we all know, the role of Spider-Man was given to The Social Network actor Andrew Garfield, who went on to play Peter Parker in TASM and its sequel.
During its 5th and penultimate season, the childish football-loving character was written off the show in order for Glover to move on to new career opportunities. This prompted him to create, direct, produce, write, and act (with the help of his younger brother Stephen Glover) for the FX series Atlanta, which premiered in fall of 2016. The show won multiple awards within the following months after its first season. Glover was later cast in Disney’s live-action remake of The Lion King (as Simba) and Untitled Han Solo film (as a young Lando Calrissian). Recently, he was also announced by FXX to be producing an animated Deadpool series (again with his brother Stephen), which is said to be released sometime next year.
Now, without further ado, here is a short list of characters the singer-writer-actor may be playing:
1. Miles Morales aka Spider-Man
Obviously–and let’s be honest, here–when you think of Donald Glover and Spider-Man in the same sentence, this guy is the first to come up. In fact, the 2011 Twitter campaign inspired the Brooklyn-raised half-African American half-Puerto Rican Spider-Man to be written into the Marvel universe. In addition, Glover also voiced Miles Morales in Disney’s Ultimate Spider-Man animated series. The character would have also been in Sony’s rebooted Spider-Man movie universe had it not been canceled.
In spite of this, some fans have argued that Glover is too old for the part of Morales, and while it would be fun to see Glover put on the Spidey suit and fight alongside Tom Holland’s Peter Parker/ Spider-Man, we are left to wonder who else he could be playing.
2. Aaron Davis/ Prowler
Fans who argued that Glover is too young for the role of a live-action Morales have suspected that perhaps he may be portraying Morales’s uncle, Aaron Davis, instead. In the comics, this version of Prowler was a cat burglar alongside Morales’s father. He is also the reason Miles Morales became the Spider-Man of the Ultimate Marvel Universe after the death of that universe’s Peter Parker.
In the comics, Prowler eventually shoots and kills fellow villain The Tinkerer, then steals some of his tech. This includes a winged suit and electric gauntlets. Considering the villains confirmed for the upcoming movie (The Tinkerer, Vulture, and Shocker), perhaps this is mirroring the comics and Glover would be playing an MCU version of the Prowler. It should also be known that the original incarnation of the Prowler, Hobie Brown, was fired from his window washer job and used his intelligence to become a villain. In the movie, Adrian Toomes and other people from his salvaging company are just average Joes trying to make a living in the world, and they use what resources they have to become supervillains.
In the first two trailers, Glover is seen alongside Logan Marshall Green’s character, so there is a possibility that he could be a villain. However, in a recent movie trailer, Glover shares a scene with a supersuited-Peter Parker and tells him, “You gotta get better at this part of the job” to which Tom Holland’s character replies with, “I don’t understand. I’m intimidating!” (This is found between the 1:30 and 1:40 marks.) Considering that these characters do not come from a wealthy background like Tony Stark’s, this could mean that Peter Parker might join [Glover’s character], the Shocker(s), The Tinkerer, and the Vulture in the supervillain business to gain money in order to support their families. On the other hand, Glover’s scene with Spider-Man in the third trailer could mean something else…
3. Undercover Agent/ Agent of SHIELD
Now, don’t get me wrong, but perhaps Donald Glover isn’t really playing anyone special. It’s been 5-6 years too late since that reputed Twitter campaign, but at least he’s finally in a Spider-Man movie, so we as fans should be truly grateful for that. RIGHT???
In the trailer, what did Glover mean by, “You gotta get better at this part of the job”? If that was not enough to justify, his tone of voice seemed to be pretty chill. What job could he possibly be talking about, if not a heist of some sort? The only other explanation for this would be that he is playing an undercover agent, maybe even an Agent of SHIELD. After the Agents of SHIELD (AoS) Season 4 Finale, the SHIELD organization’s reputation went downhill, and a bunch of its members went into hiding afterward. Maybe some SHIELD members are still out there in the world.
Remember, Tony Stark created the Accords in last year’s Captain America: Civil War, so everyone else who is not on that side of the law must work in hiding. Perhaps Glover’s character and Spider-Man are taking down the supervillains from within the group, without the help of Iron Man. This corroborates to the fact that Peter Parker aspires to do whatever it takes to be an Avenger.
If this is not who Donald Glover is playing, then what else is there?
Now, I’m only half-joking when I say this, but hear me out. Keep in mind that the Marvel Cinematic Universe is known for the strangest stuff (and we’re not just talking about you, Doctor Strange). Amongst the most bizarre things to have happened in the MCU movies, television shows, and Netflix series are the appearances (e.g. cameos and special guest appearances) and crossovers (e.g. Avengers, Defenders, etc.). From Lady Sif appearing in Agents of SHIELD twice to Phil Coulson transitioning from film to television to (of course) even Stan Lee cameos, there is almost no doubt that Marvel would want to do this with Childish Gambino. Donald Glover playing Donald Glover could be the next outlandish Marvel stunt since Deadpool. He could be playing himself because that is the best person he could be. Plus, he could add “being in a Marvel movie” to his celebrity résumé.
What are your thoughts on Donald Glover as well as the character he could be playing in the movie? Marvel’s Spider-Man: Homecoming swings into theaters on July 7, 2017.