Fans of Donald Glover may be disappointed with the size of the Atlanta creator’s role in Spider-Man: Homecoming. The actor and rapper — who was once championed for the role of Spider-Man — plays a petty criminal who offers Peter Parker (Tom Holland) a clue as to where he can track down Vulture’s (Michael Keaton) team. But here’s the good news: Glover’s scene in Homecoming sets up a world in which he might play a bigger role in a future film.
Glover plays Aaron Davis, a character pulled straight from the Spider-Man comic books. In the comics, Davis is a burglar and criminal who goes by “the Prowler.” He pulls off petty crimes, including at one point breaking into Osborn Industries (yes, the birth place of the radioactive spider that bit Peter Parker). There, a radioactive spider sneaks into Davis’ bag, eventually crawling out and biting his nephew, Miles Morales.
Fans of the comics may know Morales as the new Spider-Man. Even younger than Parker, Morales took over the role of Spidey after Parker appears to have died in the comics. (There is a parallel universe in which Parker lives. It’s complicated!) Glover also voices Morales in the animated Spider-Man. A few years ago, when Sony first announced they were rebooting Spider-Man again, fans lobbied for Glover to play a live-action version of Morales. Instead, Sony decided to stick with Peter Parker and cast 21-year-old British actor Tom Holland to play him.
In Homecoming, Glover’s character says that he doesn’t want dangerous weapons in the neighborhood because he has a young nephew who lives in the area. That means that Morales almost certainly exists in this Spider-Man cinematic universe, as is Glover’s Prowler.
We don’t know when Morales could turn up or how big a role he will play. The current Spidey actor, Tom Holland, has said that Homecoming is the first in a trilogy. It’s possible that Miles shows up in this trilogy as a second Spider-Man. However, Marvel and Sony might also be planting the seeds for yet another Spider-Man series after Holland outgrows the role and fulfills his contract. (There have already been three Spider-Man movie series in 15 years.) The fourth Spider-Man series could star yet another actor as the Miles Morales Spider-Man.
Yet another option involves Sony’s ever-expanding Spidey universe. Sony has announced plans for spinoff films for several other characters from the Spider-Man comics, including a Venom movie starring Tom Hardy and a Black Cat and Silver Sable film. Perhaps Sony could somehow engineer a Miles Morales film while Peter Parker still exists.
Whatever the outcome, Glover’s subtle hint about his nephew was no accident. Miles Morales is coming.