WARNING: This post contains MILD SPOILERS for Spider-Man: Homecoming
Details about Donald Glover’s character in the upcoming Marvel-Sony collaboration Spider-Man Homecoming have been revealed by the novelization of the movie. Spider-Man actor Tom Holland recently confirmed that this is the first movie in a solo trilogy which well presumably be set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (with no connection to Sony’s own ‘bootleg’ MCU). The groundbreaking deal between the two studios led to widespread speculation about how much crossover there would be between the two, but for now it looks like the two will be separate entities with no opportunity for a crossover.
It was widely rumored that Sony’s universe would be the first live-action attempt to bring the Spider-Man character Miles Morales to the screen. Community actor Donald Glover voiced the character in the animated Ultimate Spider-Man, and his casting in Homecoming led to an immediate furore of excitement – but it seems as if the novelization of the film has put the brakes on all that speculation.
A synopsis of the first act of Spider-Man Homecoming the novelization details some of the teenage intrigue and a few set-pieces that audiences can expect from the movie. It opens with Adrian Toomes’ (Michael Keaton) decision to “change” in line with the rest of the world – a clip which has already been released by Sony – before slinging through the airport battle of Captain America: Civil War. Peter’s struggle to become an Avenger at the expense of his school life then takes center stage, coming to a head when he intervenes in a black market sale of Chitauri weapons. Glover’s character (Alex) is buying the alien weaponry from Toomes’ henchmen: Shultz (Bokeem Woodbine), and Brice (Logan Marshall-Green). Spider-Man breaks up the deal and pursues Shutlz and Brice, leaving Alex behind.
The character doesn’t crop up again in the synopsis, although there’s plenty of footage from the trailers that isn’t detailed in this substantial description. Alex could crop back up again to explain why he was attempting to purchase Chitauri weapons, opening the door for a deeper exploration of the character and a potential reappearance in one of the numerous planned sequels and spinoffs.
It certainly seems as though the Miles Morales rumor is dead, although there’s still a chance that Donald Glover’s character could take up the Spider-Man mantle. The name “Alex” could simply be an assumed one. It isn’t the first time that a superhero movie would deliberately misdirect fans, with The Dark Knight Rises deliberately misleading fans about Joseph Gordon-Levitt’s role as Robin.
Given that Donald Glover’s character is already dabbling with illegal weaponry however, its more likely that he’ll be playing a Spider-Man villain in the future – which explains why Marvel is guarding his identity so carefully. Homecoming is already setting up the Vulture, Shocker, and Tinkerer, now the novelization might also have let slip the introduction of Rhino. Alexander O’Hirn, a.k.a Rhino, is a criminal with ties to both Adrian Toomes and illegal technology, and the presence of both in future instalments could point towards that elusive Sinister Six movie that Sony has been promising for years.