After Sony’s groundbreaking and truly incredible Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, the world can’t get enough of Miles Morales. Before Sony and Disney split (then made up), The Beat staff thought it would be fun to put together a list of potential actors who could play Miles in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Originally appearing in Marvel Comics in 2011 following the death of Peter Parker, Miles Morales is an Afro-Latinx teenager from Brooklyn who was created by Brian Michael Bendis and Sara Pichelli. His look in his first appearance was heavily influenced by the visage of Donald Glover wearing Spider-Man pajamas in the Community season two premiere.
Since then, Miles has been a mainstay in the Marvel Universe, and we think it’s about time he made his debut in the MCU. Without further ado, here are our picks for who could take on this major role.
(Chosen by Edward Douglas)
Since I don’t really know a ton of Afro-Latinx teenage actors who can play Miles Morales offhand, I’m just going to go for the obvious … that they should cast Shameik Moore, who voiced Miles in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. Moore was great in the Sundance film Dope, as well as on Netflix’s The Get Down as rapper Shaolin Fantastic.
Sure, he’s 24 years old and he’s 2” taller than Tom Holland, but he imbued so much about what people love about Miles from the comics into the animated version, so why not at least give him a chance? It’s not like other high schoolers in films and television are actually in their teens — Beanie Feldstein of Booksmart is well into her 20s, for instance! It’s called acting, and there’s one thing that many actors seem to be able to tap into fairly easily, and that’s their high school years.
(Chosen by Yael Tygiel)
Ryan Reynolds and Deadpool proved that when an actor becomes this invested, he’s going to nail the role. Watch this short and see for yourself.
(Chosen by Aaron Halls)
For the past three seasons of Stranger Things, actor Caleb McLaughlin has been amongst a talented cast on the hit Netflix series. While his character Lucas Sinclair hasn’t really had the chance to drive main storylines on the show, McLaughlin is always charming. Miles Morales has stepped out of Peter Parker’s shadow and into the spotlight he deserves; for a young actor that will one day have to break free from his former colossal show, I can’t think of a better role that will swing McLaughlin into the next phase of his career.
(Chosen by Hannah Lodge)
If you’re a hardcore fan of genre television, you might already know Rhenzy Feliz for his role as Alex Wilder on Hulu’s The Runaways. One of the strongest actors on the show, Feliz has shown he has the acting chops to portray a gifted, nerdy kid with loving but complex relationships with his family. Feliz is only 21 years old, which puts him right around the ideal age range for the part, grew up in the Bronx, and is of Dominican descent. Season 3 of The Runaways is out this December, but we’re hoping Feliz could make some room in his schedule for a role like this one.
(Chosen by Kyle Pinion)
Jharrell Jerome is on a meteoric rise to superstardom already, with an Emmy win under his belt for his blistering performance in Ava DuVernay‘s When They See Us, a critical supporting performance in one of the best films of the 2010s, the Oscar-winning Moonlight, and a central role in the acclaimed Stephen King adaptation Mr. Mercedes. Honestly, this is the kind of young talent that the superhero franchise machine is built upon and it’s only a matter of time before one of the studios ropes him into a multi-picture pact.
Another point in Jerome’s favor is that he is Dominican on one parent’s side, and while Miles is half Puerto Rican and I would never dare make the argument that those are interchangeable, it does at least keep his Latinx roots from being erased, which is something that is frequently done when this character is discussed. Also, he’s got a perfect Marvel name already.
Agree? Disagree? Let us know who you’d cast in the comments! And don’t forget to check out our other picks for Catwoman, The Penguin, and Wolverine, as well as five comics roles Keanu Reeves should play onscreen.