Marvel fans have been clamoring for Miles Morales to get his own movie for about as long as he’s been in comic books. A relatively new Spider-Man in the Marvel Comics timeline, Miles was introduced as a high school student who gains spider-powers in the Ultimates continuity. One of the reasons he became so interesting to fans? He wasn’t Peter Parker.
Peter Parker is a beloved character, but he’s also got decades of history and multiple film and cartoon attempts behind him. Peter is also a Caucasian science nerd, which isn’t exactly unusual when it comes to the superhero world. Miles, by contrast, still has plenty of backstory to explore, comes from a African American and Puerto Rican background, and has some complicated family dynamics, since he’s related to a villain or two.
When Sony and Marvel announced that they were rebooting the Spider-Man franchise on the big screen to fit into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, there was plenty of outcry from fans that the studios should give Miles a chance in the spotlight, perhaps with his voice from the animated series, Donald Glover, in the role. With Miles in high school and Glover now in his thirties, however, that wouldn’t be feasible, even if the studios hadn’t gone with Peter Parker again. Glover does also have a role in the upcoming Spider-Man: Homecoming movie, making him playing an unlikely candidate to ever step into the Spidey tights.
Sony is still releasing an animated feature for Miles Morales though, and with the launch of their very own shared universe (independent from the MCU), there’s still a chance fans could be seeing the character in live-action sooner than we think. With Glover out of the running and Miles’ popularity on the rise, we’ve collected 15 Actors Who Could Play Miles Morales.
15 Shameik Moore
Like Donald Glover, Shameik Moore already has a connection to Miles Morales. He’s been cast as the voice of Miles for Sony’s animated feature starring the character, which should land in 2018. If the producers trust him to get the voice of Miles just right, we know he can bring the character’s personality to life in live-action as well.
The downside? He’s on the older end of the actors on this list, and if Sony and Marvel are interested in getting a teenager to play the role for years, as they’ve done with Tom Holland, he might be out of luck.
Like a lot of the actors coming up on the list, Moore is primarily known for his work in a handful of projects, sporting a resume that has yet to feature that one career-defining role. In his case, those roles are in the critically acclaimed Dope and The Get Down. With The Get Down having just been canceled by Netflix, Moore will definitely have a little time in his schedule for the demands of a superhero movie.
14 Jordan Fisher
Jordan Fisher’s first roles came to him from tween projects on television. After appearing in an episode of iCarly for Nickelodeon, Fisher became a Disney staple. He recurred on Liv and Maddie most recently, but also cut a rug in the Teen Beach movies. Having that dance experience is a plus for a character who spends a lot of time jumping, climbing, and simply running around with a mask on his face.
Fisher has also worked both sides of the genre spectrum, appearing in dramas like Teen Wolf and the musical Grease: Live as well. He’s got the experience to bring teenage Miles to life in the halls of a high school, or on the street going up against bad guys in a dramatic action sequence.
Fisher did just recently make his Broadway debut in Hamilton. His run in the hit musical ended in March, but with the actor also pursuing a music and stage career, nailing him down to a movie schedule might prove difficult.
13 Khylin Rhambo
The awesomely named Khylin Rhambo has only been acting professionally for a few years, but in that time, he’s been racking up TV experience as one of the leads in The First Family and now, as one of the principal players in Teen Wolf. Rhambo joined the series in 2014 as Mason, the very human best friend of the newest werewolf on the show. Since then, he’s become quite the fan favorite.
While Rhambo doesn’t have the same experience with stunt work or dance choreography that many actors on this list do, he does have plenty of experience working with CGI characters and environments. In addition to acting opposite his share of monsters for multiple seasons on Teen Wolf, his big screen break came in Ender’s Game, where he was a commander of the students in training.
Since Ender’s Game, Rhambo has been locked into a TV schedule, and he definitely deserves the chance to break into big screen projects.
12 Roshon Fegan
Unlike a lot of actors who broke into the business in their teen years, Roshon Fegan has been steadily working in some capacity since he was just 18 months old, when he started appearing in commercials. Since then, his resume has grown to include movies, TV, music, and dancing.
Though he has a huge body of work behind him, most TV audiences will recognize Fegan thanks to a long stint on the Disney Channel. Not only did he appear in the Camp Rock movies, but he also popped up in Shake It Up, Kickin’ It, ANT Farm, and was then selected as a celebrity contestant for Dancing With the Stars. He’s mostly appeared in musicals and comedies up to this point, though he is expanding his acting reach with roles in a few upcoming thrillers, like What Still Remains.
Though he doesn’t share the Puerto Rican heritage of Miles Morales, Fegan does have mixed roots; he’s part Filipino, so he knows what it’s like to be immersed in two very different cultures. Fegan also already has a small connection to the Spider-Man franchise, having appeared in the 2004 movie Spider-Man 2 as a child amazed by the web-slinger. It was his first movie role.
11 RJ Cyler
RJ Cyler earned plenty of critical praise for his part in Me and Earl and the Dying Girl, but it’s his turn as Blue Ranger Billy in Power Rangers that really proves the actor has what it takes to take on the role of a superhero.
Power Rangers, at least in its TV universe, has always been campy and fun, but the movie reboot turned the team of teenagers with attitude into teenagers with real character, struggling with their new roles as superheroes. Cyler’s Billy was the only one who was genuinely excited to be a superhero, though he also experienced some of the most tragic moments in the film as he brought the first self-professed hero on the Autism spectrum to the screen.
Would Cyler be able to play a comic book character and join a new franchise with the planned Power Rangers franchise on his dance card as well? Possibly. The planned sequels are, however, in danger of being halted if revenue from tie-in products don’t make enough of a profit.
10 Skylan Brooks
One of the youngest actors on the list, Skylan Brooks has nearly a decade of experience in the business behind him. A lot of that experience comes in the form of short films, but he’s recently made a splash with Netflix audiences in The Get Down. There, he’s the more even-keeled of the group of friends at the center of the story. Level headed and helping everyone else sort through their problems, he’s been able to play the grounding force on the show. It’s time he got to shake things up.
The downside here? Brooks has a fear of heights! He told Just Jared Jr. in an interview last year that elevated walkways make him nervous, and so does living in a four-story building. While he wouldn’t have to swing from the tops of actual buildings (that’s what CGI is for), someone who climbs walls would need to be comfortable getting off the ground.
9 Marcus Scribner
If you’ve never heard of Marcus Scribner, it’s probably because you're not much of a sitcom person. While the 17-year-old actor has taken on other roles in TV and movies, he’s best known for his role as Andre Jr. on Black-ish.
The sitcom has a depth to its storytelling usually reserved for hard hitting dramas, as it tackles what it means to be Black in America for the oldest and youngest generations, highlighted by the critically acclaimed episode “Hope,” in which the family discusses police brutality against African Americans. As a result, its stars, including Scribner, are asked to toe an interesting line when it comes to drama within the context of a comedy, and he’s definitely a standout.
Scribner has already won an NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Performance by a Youth for his role in Black-ish and been nominated for several more thanks to his work on the show and in voiceover roles. He’s definitely a star on the rise, and a major project like a superhero film would help him reach a worldwide audience.
8 Ashton Sanders
Ashton Sanders has been interested in acting since a young age. When he was 12, he started attending a performing arts camp, and his love of the art translated into critical acclaim and several accolades for his role as a young gay man struggling with his sexuality in Moonlight, now an Academy Award winning film.
For Moonlight, Sanders tapped into his own experiences with bullying and relationships with those who suffered from addiction to bring Chiron to life. He’s going from dramatic indie to thriller in Captive State, and given his love for taking on new roles and learning about new areas of the art of the acting game, a superhero role would give him a chance to strut his stuff in a new direction.
7 Justice Smith
After racking up a few roles on the small screen, Justice Smith got his big break with his fourth acting credit, Paper Towns. The movie, based on the John Green novel of the same name, saw him as one of the best friends of Nat Wolff’s main character. With his next project, The Get Down, Smith was no longer in a supporting role, but the actor at the center of the story, and he’s proven that he can carry a project on his very capable shoulders.
Not on Smith’s side is the fact that he doesn’t have a lot of experience when it comes to action or working in CGI-heavy environments, but that’s all about to change, as Smith has a potential franchise already on the way. He’s currently working on the untitled Jurassic World sequel, and it remains to be seen if he'll be appearing in future installments of the films -- or if that damn Indominus Rex will get to him first.
6 Tyler James Williams
Though he’s been acting professionally since he was just eight years old, Tyler James Williams really made a name for himself as the young version of Chris Rock on Everybody Hates Chris. He went on to do everything from comedy to Disney musicals before landing a recurring role on The Walking Dead and proving himself in a dramatic setting as well.
In 2015, when rumors were running rampant that the next live-action Spider-Man could be Miles, Williams spoke at length about Black superheroes with Flicks and the City, where he revealed just how much he knew about the character and that he'd be interested in taking on the role, and even learning some Spanish on the side to fully bring Ultimate Spidey to life. Two years later, he’d still be a good fit for the part.
Most recently, Williams had taken on the role of the tech genius member of the team in Criminal Minds: Beyond Borders. With the series cancelled following its second season, though, he has Kathryn Bigelow’s Detroit on the way.
5 Caleb McLaughlin
With Caleb McLaughlin being at the younger end of the Miles Morales casting possibilities, it’s easy to think that he’s one of the least experienced. While it’s true that he hasn't racked up many big screen credits over the last few years, McLaughlin has also been on Broadway (in The Lion King), and he’s a main cast member in a hugely popular Netflix series. Yep, that’s where you know him from: Stranger Things.
McLaughlin was fantastic as Lucas, the member of the core group of friends who was just so over all of the weird stuff going on in his small town. He tried to get out and ignore it all, much like Miles Morales tried to ignore his own superpowers, but ultimately, he decided to do the right thing and help his friends out, not unlike a certain web-slinger.
One point in McLaughlin’s favor is that unlike many of the actors here, he’s actually expressed an interest in the role, asking fans to weigh in on the possibility on social media.
4 Jarod Joseph
He might not be the biggest name in Hollywood yet, but if it’s filmed in Canada, Jarod Joseph has probably been in it. He’s appeared in Arrow, Once Upon A Time, Saving Hope, Fringe, and more, and he’s currently a series regular on The 100, which was recently renewed for another season. It’s the latter that’s proven that he has what it takes to lead a major project like a superhero film.
Joseph plays Nathan Miller on The CW series, one of the 100 teenagers sent to Earth to see if it was viable way back in season one. He didn’t get to share much of the spotlight until his character got a little more fleshed out in season two, but he’s become a fan favorite on the series nonetheless. Joseph has gone from a background player to someone helping save the world every week, and he’s handled the action and drama like a pro.
Getting Joseph’s schedule clear enough to make a movie could prove difficult, however. This year alone, he’s had recurring roles on three television shows. Still, it's hard to imagine that he wouldn't make time for a pair of superhero tights.
3 Alex Hibbert
Alex Hibbert is the youngest of the potential Miles Morales casting options here at just 12-years-old, but considering Peter Parker is the MCU’s Spider-Man for the foreseeable future, that’s not necessarily a problem. If he landed the role in a few years, it would mean he would be afforded the opportunity to grow with the character in a long-running franchise.
Hibbert has the least experience in the industry of anyone here as well, but that could work in his favor, lending a youthful edge to the role while fully embodying the character in the eyes of fans in a way that a better known actor simply couldn't. His only completed project to date is Moonlight, but he was so great in the role that it’s only a matter of time before producers in Hollywood want him to star in anything and everything. In fact, he’s already got his next project lined up.
Hibbert was cast in The Chi, a series picked up by Showtime in January. Right now, it’s unknown just how large his role will be, but the series itself is a coming of age story set on the south side of Chicago.
2 Alfred Enoch
An entire generation will always remember Alfred Enoch as Harry Potter’s fellow Gryffindor Dean Thomas, but he's more than proved his abilities outside the wizarding world thanks to a production of King Lear and the popular ABC drama, How To Get Away With Murder.
The hit TV series demonstrated that Enoch could play the hero, the villain, the boyfriend, and the conspiracy theorist all rolled into one. As Wes Gibbins, he got to do more on the soapy murder mystery than most actors get to do in a decade on television. And as a Brit, he did it all with a very convincing American accent.
Enoch is one of the more consistent fancasting mentions when a live-action Miles Morales is brought up in internet conversations. As one of the oldest actors on our list, playing Miles as the fifteen-year-old he starts out as in the comics probably wouldn’t work out as well. If Enoch did land the part, the character would definitely have to be aged up for him.
1 Abraham Attah
Another youngster on the list with little in the way of experience, Attah nabs the top spot because he was such a standout in his theatrical debut Beasts of No Nation. Since the 2015 movie landed on Netflix, he’s only done a short film, and everyone’s been waiting to see just what project will land the young actor next.
Attah was discovered in Ghana when he decided to skip class and play soccer instead. He was able to tap into his emotions as effortlessly as actors twice his age, which is why Cary Fukunaga placed him in the lead role of a child soldier even though he hadn’t been on a film set before. That ease of imagination and bringing a scene to life is exactly what an actor needs in a superhero film with larger than life sets and a hefty amount of CGI.
Up next for Attah? Interestingly, he has a role in Spider-Man: Homecoming, out in July, that has yet to be revealed. Likely a schoolmate of Tom Holland’s Peter Parker, fans were quick to speculate that perhaps the producers were sneaking in a Miles Morales cameo. Could Attah already have the role? We’ll have to wait and see.
Do you think these actors have what it takes to bring Miles Morales to life, or should a brand new face take on the role? Who would you like to see become the Ultimate Spider-Man? Be sure to let us know in the comments!