in 2011, when Hollywood announced plans to reboot the Spider-Man franchise (again), an online contingency came together to insist that Donald Glover be cast as the infamous webslinger. After generating traction online, Glover himself backed the idea, expressing interest in his Weirdo stand-up special. Despite these efforts, the role eventually went to Andrew Garfield, and Glover had to settle on a successful rap career.
Now, several years later, nerds everywhere will finally get their wish as Glover is confirmed to portray everyone’s friendly neighborhood Spider-Man. As USA Today reports, Glover has been tapped to appear in an episode of Disney XD’s animated Ultimate Spider-Man: Web Warriors as Miles Morales, the half-black, half-Hispanic Ultimates universe version of Spidey.
For those non-comic book fans, there’s a pretty extensive and nerdy backstory for why the Ultimates universe is a separate continuity from the primary Marvel canon. Basically, it boils down to a series of alternate universes, each with separate Spider-Men. In the Ultimates universe, the 13-year-old Morales has taken over in the wake of Peter Parker’s death. You can find more info about the character’s origins and adventures here.
As USA Today notes, “the cartoon Miles is very close to the comic-book version: The 13-year-old is still getting used to being a superhero when he meets the dimension-hopping Peter, who’s trying to stop his old nemesis the Green Goblin from collecting the DNA of various Spider-Men — from Spider-Man Noir to the porcine hero Spider-Ham — for nefarious reasons.”
In a statement, Glover said, “That’s the great part about the Spider-Man costume: He can be anybody. Spider-Man could be a girl. Spider-Man could be an old man. You don’t know. So I just tried to be as me as possible, because you’re always just going to bring it back to yourself when you watch the show.” Glover adds that he connects with Spider-Man more than, say, Batman or Superman because “you just don’t know who he is, and he’s funny and he’s poor. I understand Spider-Man a lot on that level. He’s just trying to make it.”
Update: Watch a clip of Glover voicing Spider-Man below.
Web Warriors is set to premiere this Sunday (August 31st); however, Glover’s appearance, part of the “Spider-Verse” arc, won’t actually air until later this year. In the meantime, watch Glover’s Morales and the original Spider-Man (voiced by Drake Bell) meet for the first time.