The teenage son of an African-American father and Puerto Rican mother will become the first black character and second Latino to portray Spider-Man in the official Marvel Comics universe.
Spider-Man will continue to be portrayed as Peter Parker in the upcoming Marvel film due to be released in 2017, but the new comic book casting will raise hopes that Miles Morales may get his big screen debut soon.
Marvel fans were excited at the prospect of Miles Morales stepping into the Spider-Man suit when the film was first announced earlier this year. It is now thought, however, that Charlie Plummer, Matthew Lintz and Tom Hollande are among the young actors being lined up for the role.
A leaked email from Sony recently revealed Peter Parker must be "Caucasian and heterosexual" in the film.
Marvel’s move to put Miles Morales at the centre of one of its most popular comics follows a recent push for greater diversity among its best known characters.
“Many kids of colour who when they were playing superheroes with their friends, their friends wouldn’t let them be Batman or Superman because they don’t look like those heroes but they could be Spider-Man because anyone could be under that mask,” Morales co-creator and comic book writer Brian Bendis told the New York Daily News. “But now it’s true. It’s meant a great deal to a great many people.”
He added: “Our message has to be it’s not Spider-Man with an asterisk, it’s the real-Spider-Man for kids of colour, for adults of colour and everybody else.”
Half-Mexican geneticist Miguel O’Hara played the first Latino Spider-Man in a 1993 comic set in the year 2099.
Morales has played a version of Spider-Man since 2011, replacing the murdered Peter Parker in Marvel’s offshoot “Ultimate” comic books.
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