Years after fans shouted into the ether of the internet, campaigning for Donald Glover to play Spider-Man—they went with Andrew Garfield, instead—Glover, of Community and Childish Gambino fame, is finally living the dream. Kind of. He’s the latest person to join the cast of Spider-Man: Homecoming, so while he won’t be playing Spider-Man himself, he’ll at least be web-adjacent. As is rapidly becoming the way with Marvel films—they’ve always done good casting but lately it’s just crazy the people they’re getting, even for cameos—Homecoming is pulling a top shelf cast. Joining RDJ, Glover, and Marisa Tomei at the grown-up’s table, Michael Keaton is reportedly on board to play the villain.
But who will Glover play? No clue. They’re keeping his role under wraps, and so far the casting has been diverse enough that really, Glover could be playing anyone. He could be playing any villain out of Spider-Man’s rogues’ gallery—besides The Vulture, Keaton’s rumored role—or Robbie Robertson, an editor at The Daily Bugle who looks out for Peter Parker, or he could be a new iteration of J. Jonah Jameson for the internet age. (I am on the “screw continuity, bring JK Simmons back as JJ Jameson” train, for the record.)
My money is on either a teacher at Peter’s school, or maybe tech magnate Max Modell, one of Peter’s mentors in the comics. Max would be interesting because he’s a kind of anti-Tony Stark, a scientist and benefactor who shares Peter’s moral compass and compulsion to help people. (He’s also openly gay in the comics, which would fit nicely with Homecoming’s tacit diversity mandate.) Though Peter was Team Iron Man in Civil War, we saw that morally, he’s more aligned with Captain America, which opens the door for a potential conflict between Peter and Tony. I could be very into a Spider-Man movie that pits Donald Glover against RDJ for the soul of Peter Parker.