The Miles Morales – Donald Glover Connection Is Deeper Than You Think

The Miles Morales – Donald Glover Connection Is Deeper Than You Think
The Miles Morales – Donald Glover Connection Is Deeper Than You Think

It is not uncommon for actors to have ties to directors or certain types of roles. In the case of Donald Glover, it goes a bit further and extends to a connection with a franchise and character. There is an interesting link between Glover, Marvel comics, and the Spider-Man character. This is explored in Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse. This connection dates to as far back as his days playing Troy Barnes on the TV show, Community. 

For the longest time, Glover had wanted to be part of the Spider-Man franchise, either as a villain or hero. In the years that have followed, he has had the opportunity to be in two Spider-Man movies and a TV show. The first one was in the 2017’s Spider-Man: Homecoming and in 2023’s Across the Spider-Verse, where the story is much more expansive and allowed for the exploration of more fringe and unexpected characters. 

Miles Morales’ Appearance Was Modeled After Donald Glover’s Character in Community

Donald Glover Community

Many Spider-Man fans are likely familiar with the fact that the Miles Morales design was partly inspired by Glover. On an episode of Community, Glover’s character wears Spider-Man pyjamas; this look served as the inspiration when Brian Michael Bendis (writer) and Sara Pichelli (artist) created Miles Morales. Bendis wanted to make sure that his Spider-Man would appeal to a new generation of readers who were not just younger but also have more inclusive tastes. So seeing an African American put on the costume, he got the confirmation he needed that his idea for Miles Morales was going to be successful. Miles Morales being of African American and Puerto Rican heritage was an exciting inclusion for the character and reflective of the intended diverse audience.

There Was A Previous Campaign to Get Donald Glover Cast as Spider-Man

The Miles Morales – Donald Glover Connection Is Deeper Than You Think

In the years before the release of The Amazing Spiderman in 2012, Glover set his sights on playing the lead role of Spiderman. This was spurred on by fans asking that the franchise become more inclusive and cast a black actor in the role. It was believed that Glover would be a great fit for the role. This led to the creation of the hashtag #Donald4Spiderman. Glover who was obviously interested in the role, also played his part by sharing the hashtag. 

The goal of the campaign was not successful as the role went to Andrew Garfield. The success of the Garfield films was not long-lived and this is the only franchise of the film that is not a trilogy. In 2015, in the animated Ultimate Spider-Man, Glover voiced Miles Morales in two episodes of the show, becoming the first actor to voice Miles Morales. This is yet another thing that shows that the Miles Morales – Donald Glover connection is more complex than you may have realized 

Donald Glover Played Miles Morales’ Uncle in Spider-Man: Homecoming

The Miles Morales – Donald Glover Connection Is Deeper Than You Think

Although Glover did not get cast, he caught the attention of Jon Watts, who directed Spider-Man: Homecoming. Watts upon becoming the film’s director immediately lobbied for Glover’s appearance in the film and that is how the MCU got its own version of Aaron Davies, the uncle of none other than Miles Morales. Glover’s involvement in Spider-Man has been many years in the making. By the time he appears in Across the Spider-Verse, he had been part of a campaign to be Spider-Man, had played the role in an animated series, and is a version of the superhero’s uncle in another universe.

His role as Prowler in  Across the Spider-Verse has been a long time coming, it is also a beautiful connection to the rest of the films in the extended Spider-Man franchise. This was only made possible because of the connection that Glover had built and worked on for more than a decade. All the work that Glover put in led to this intricate web of connection to Miles Morales. Leading to his appearance in Across the Spider-Verse which could mean more for him in future Spider-Man films. 

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