'Community' star Donald Glover taps the Web for Spider-Man campaign

Donald-GloverAh, the almighty Internet. Is there any limit to its power? A wink of its eye turns a pint-size Canadian into a pop phenom. A twitch of its tail gets an 88-year-old lady on SNL. And now, it’s putting its muscle behind another delightfully random campaign straight out of Hollywood Mad Libs: Giving Community star Donald Glover a shot at playing Spider-Man in the upcoming franchise reboot.

It all started last Friday, when the eminent Marc Bernardin of io9 (and before that, EW) responded to Spider-Man 4 casting rumors with  a blog post titled “The last thing Spider-Man should be is another white guy.” Two days later Glover himself tweeted a link to the post, christening the movement with its own hashtag, #donald2spiderman. Then his fans retweeted it. Then he blogged it. Now he’s planning an all-out assault on Twitter at 9:30pm ET tonight, hoping to push his cause up through the muck and murmur of the Web, all the way to the ears of Sony, the studio behind the Spidey reboot.

Of course, Glover says he isn’t asking for the role on a silver platter. “Some people are mistaken,” he tweeted yesterday. “I don’t want to just be given the role. I want to be able to audition. I truly love Spider-Man.”

Fans of Community are sure to be on Team Glover here, given the comic’s knack for scene-stealing on the show. But what do you all think, PopWatchers? Could Glover really make the jump from Web trend to web slinger? Does he deserve a shot at the role? And do you think he’d really make a good Spidey?

More ‘Spider-Man’ reboot:
‘Spider-Man': The search for America’s Next Top Superhero
Next ‘Spider-Man’ film will be a gritty, contemporary reboot of the franchise
Sam Raimi, Tobey Maguire not doing ‘Spider-Man 4′
‘Spider-Man 4′ indefinitely delayed

Comments (143 total) Add your comment
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  • Nate

    He should be given a shot at least. One thing the reboot could do to give it some relevance is make surprising, different casting choices, and Glover would certainly fit that bill

    • darclyte

      Why not? Who says that ANY fictional character “has” to be a certain race, gender, or what have you? Remember, on Battlestar Galactica, Starbuck was a guy in the 1980s and a woman in the 2000s, and Boomer was a black man in the 80s, and an Asian woman in the 2000s. When those changes were first noted, fans scoffed. By the time BSG ended, nobody was scoffing. A black Spiderman, or a woman even, could revamp the character in “out of the box” ways.

      • Joanne Paley

        There’s a Spider-Woman already. Jessica Drew has been a part of Marvel comics since 1978, and she even had a short-lived Saturday Morning cartoon show in the early 80s.

      • ger


      • BlackIrish4094


      • darclyte

        I’m aware of Spider-Woman, but she’s a different character with an entirely different origin and powers than Parker/Spiderman. A female Parker (Patricia if you will) could have the same origin, powers, and abilities. Perhaps it’s Aunt May who dies instead? With a black Peter Parker, maybe make it his Grandfather instead of uncle? Subtle changes, but otherwise similar.

      • john

        what a stupid idea keep it the way it is

      • ugh

        we already did that with the first three movies. why not something….i dunno, interesting?

      • kdogg

        there isn’t only one Spider-woman, there’s like 4. jessica drew, julie carpenter, mattie frankilin, Veranke and not to mention spider-girl.

    • ****

      Okay, he can play Peter Parker but then I want a remake of The Color Purple starring Miley Cyrus as Celie and Maggie Smith as Shug and a movie with Woody Harrelson as Martin Luther King, okay?

      • Lee Krempel

        You know that isn’t an accurate comparison right? Spider-Man is not defined as a character by his race or circumstances of race…those characters are.

      • thregno

        So what your saying is that Spiderman is as big as a cultural figure for white people as MLK is a figure for black? Jesus Christ your ignorance shocks me.

      • BlackIrish4094

        Your pretty ignorant itself to use the Lord’s name in vain to complain about someone else’s lack of respect. Hilariously stupid!

      • RJ

        I didn’t know Celie was that big for blacks? Martin Luther King Jr. your ignorance shocks me.

      • andy

        Using the lord’s name in vain has nothing to do with ignorance or stupidity, it’s simply something some don’t respect as much as others. Why anybody’s amount of ignorance would be shocking to anyone here I’ll never know. If you read comments on these articles you are privy to immense amounts of ignorance all the time. For instance the guy who knew about Spider-Woman is being called a loser and a nerd yet I have no problem saying there have actually been 3 different Spider-Woman characters. Just a point of fact. Also, there have surely been ironically produced versions of The Color Purple with a white cast. It’s all been done already. Donald could be as good a Spider-Man as anybody. It’s just a movie.

      • BlackIrish4094

        Actually my loser ciomment above wasn’t for the Spider Woman person (I knew that too so I would qualify as a nerd also) but for the guy who indicated changing the character race would somehow refresh the series and used Battlestar Galactica as an example.BSG just isn’t the same huge phenomonon Spiderman is.

      • SKR

        1)MLK is a REAL person, if spider man was a bio pic than you couldnt change his race, but its a comic book movie, fiction, fully up for open interpretation. 2)the color purple is about race, changing the race of the characters changes the point. 3)of all super heros spider man is one of the easiest to change the race, he is one of the few that is completely covered, he could truely be anyone under that mask and I think that would be something interesting to explore

      • TJhooker

        I get it that spiderman is fictional but he was created as a white person in the comics. I love Donald Glover as much as the next person but it would not be good casting. Everyone here needs to relax. If a fictional black character like Shaft for example was rebooted with a white guy everybody would freak out. So yeah the guy is dumb for trying to compare ficticious characters with real people but lets relax and let it go.

      • andy

        blackirish…you still called him a loser and clearly didnt even make the point you claim to have been trying to make. regardless of size of phenomenon, he happens to be right. BSG fans were upset in the beginning, but the show earned the changes it made and becamea hti in it’s own right. It was an incredibly succesful show despite being on the sci-fi channel. You may not like it, but he has a point. I don’t want to drop to your level and call you a loser…I don’t know you, but if you want to be involved in a conversation, make yourself clear and don’t insult others for no reason.

  • Kai Hsu

    as long as he doesn’t have him do a goofy dance *cough* Spider-man *cough*, I’m all up for Donald playing Spider-man!

  • TimW

    I love me some Glover, but he’s way too old. Tobey was WAAAY too old. The point is that Peter P. is a teen who’s barely at home in his OWN skin, and now has to wrestle with another skin. Once the actor isn’t a teen – or more convincing playing one – then it’s not a Spiderman origin story.

    • mc1


    • thin

      Sorry. We here in America do not tolerate teen roles being played by actual teenagers. You have to be in your twenties to play high school.

      • meh

        LOL um…. Taylor Lautner ring any bells??

      • Mr. Smith

        its not that we don’t tolerate it…theres this thing called Labor laws and actors under 18 can only work certain hours a day which can be really nerve racking when trying to get a film done. And besides..Donald is only like 26-27 same age as Tobey when he started the first franchise.

    • Jeremy

      DG plays a highschool student in Mystery Team as well as various sketches (Funny and Jerry) for example.
      He also plays a freshman in college for Community. He’d do fine.

  • Matt

    DG is funny on Community but my vote goes to Abed!

    • Ceballos

      But Abed is Batman! (with the Christian Bale voice)

      • bunnyslippers

        Baby carrots and Chex Mix. Predictable, but appetizing!

      • candidpsychiatrist

        Great idea! Terrific crossover potential!

      • harry

        I agree, Abed is Batman

      • Franck

        That idea would be streets ahead.

    • avenger

      Best idea yet!

  • Brett

    Nope.com. I predict it’s highly unlikely.

  • jd

    have him eat a gigantic cookie throughout the entire film.

    • dawnomite

      ha ha ha ha ha!!!!!!!!!!

  • Monty

    After checking out “Mystery Team” this weekend, I am convinced he could pull it off, if only because in that movie he is, after all, a master of disguise.

  • JJ

    With Spider-Man being an established multi-million dollar revenue generating character you can bet they’ll cast a young white actor who looks like character has looked for the past almost 50 years.

    I get the idea behind changing things up for a reboot but they don’t need to change anything about the charactes race and if it ain’t broke dont’ expect Marvel to want to risk breaking it.

    Not to mention that Glover is 26 yrs old and why cast an actor who’ll be closer to 30 than 20 for a character set to be in high school and be able to franchise the character.

    He won’t even get an audition because he’s wrong for the part. Period.

    • um…

      but his Character on Community is fresh from High School…and he pulls that off pretty well…so…I don’t get what you are saying…

  • M. Murdock

    I think he’d make a good Peter Parker/Spider-Man… if he was a bit younger. This new Spidey is confirmed to be back in high school.

  • BG

    Sure, have him audition. He wouldn’t get the part anyway.

    In related news, I hear Justin Bieber is available and looking for acting roles.

    • bunnyslippers


      • jdstorm

        Well he should be able to play a high schooler for the next 20 years so they wouldn’t have any problems with sequels

    • harry

      Are you serious? Justin Bieber

  • Nick

    He’s not even the funniest part about “Community”. No way. This guy is WAY over-reaching.

    • Johnification

      I think the overreach is part of the charm of the campaign. Thing is, he, and a lot of other actors too, probably have the chops to carry a movie like that (you need screen presence, charm, and some acting ability, which he has all of), but he’s so not “obvious” that I’m completely behind this campaign for the simple reason of, “Hey, why not?” Let the dude audition. If nothing else the screen test will go viral and we’ll have another 5 minute clip to enjoy.

  • Rusty Shackleford

    Nope. Sorry if nobody else wants to say it because of fear of being labeled a racist, but Peter Parker is white. Let’s remake Shaft with a white lead, watch the outcry.

    • K

      You cant possibly compare Peter Parker to Shaft. Shaft and some of the more prominent African-American fictional characters, such as Black Panther or Storm, could not be played by white actors because those character’s cultural background is very important to their identity. Unlike Peter Parker, who’s race or cultural background was never an issue. Captain America is another superhero who really couldn’t be anything other than white, especially with his origin story.

      Donald Glover as Peter Parker would be an excellent choice. Especially now that they’re rebooting the series.

      • Rusty Shackleford

        Reverse racism. Can’t have it both ways. Typical argument.

      • Gonzalo

        @Rusty: What? K’s comment actually made a lot of sense. He does give three great examples of Marvel characters where the race and origin plays an important part of their defining characteristics (just like Shaft): Black Panther and Storm were both born in Africa, and Captain America’s history as a WWII symbol would require drastic changes if they were cast as different races. I don’t see any huge reason why Peter Parker wouldn’t work as a black or asian teenager – as long as they kept him relatable to everyone. Of course, that’s definitely not going to happen, but it’s an interesting and exciting thought nonetheless.

      • Who Cares

        Well, for starters, all it takes is a little tweaking toa character and it doesn’t matter their race. Black Panther couldn’t be white? Funny, but there’s been a white Black Panther – Steve Rogers took on the mantle for a while. Captain America can’t be blck – ummm… There was a Black Captain America Isaiah Bradley. As for Spidey being black… well, as much as I’m personally against changing aspects such as this in characters I know and love… I’ve gotta say it could work with the right casting (Donald Glover is too old for the role, sorry).After all, look at Nick Fury, he isn’t black, but Sam Jackson made me forget that. nd there has been asian versions of Spidey in comics (Spider-Man J, and the manga Spider-Man from the Marvel Manga series), so it’s been proven that a little switch to the character won’t necessarily kill the character or the franchise. Bad writing will do that every time – Sorry Topher Grace you were not a good choice for Venom – you would have made a better Carnage. Bottom line, if the writing is good the changes can be overlooked. And I would watch a Shaft movie with a white guy in the lead role any day – Coming Soon to theaters near you, Shaft! Starring Jason Stratham as Shaft.

      • J.

        While this is a cogent argument, to me it sounds like a double standard. If you think about it, aren’t all “black” characters a product of culture background? Give me an instance where a white actor could play a black character. I can’t think of one yet. So if that is true, then no white actor could play a black character because of the cultural background. But why is it okay to slip black actors into white roles then? Because white people have no distinct cultural background of their own? I call B.S.

      • thin

        @Who Cares Just as an FYI, Sam Jackson as Nick Fury came from Marvel’s Ultimate comics. They specifically modeled the character after him and got his blessing to do so, so casting him in the role was kind of a no-brainer.

      • bob

        “Give me an instance where a white actor could play a black character. I can’t think of one yet.”

        Steve Urkel

      • Jeremy

        “Give me an instance where a white actor could play a black character. I can’t think of one yet.”

        Green Lantern is currently black in TV/Comics, yet Ryan Reynolds is playing him

        plus I think Static Shock would be fine as a white guy.

      • matracas

        Oh…but Nick Fury “Agent of S.H.I.E.L.D.” can change from white to black without any problems?

      • J.

        @Bob, if they remade Family Matters with a new generation of African American actors, but decided to recast Urkel with someone like Neil Patrick Harris, in a show that was distinctly a black cast, someone wouldn’t cry foul that their central laugh-maker on the show (because lets face it that’s what Urkel became)didn’t represent the community?

        @Jeremy, yes, I’m aware of John Stewart as the Green Lantern. However, instead of recasting Alan Scott or Hal Jordan with a black man, they created a new Green Lantern, which is fine. John Stewart is his own character with his own story.

    • Jive Turkey

      That’s because Shaft being black is an intrinsic part of the character. Hell, an intrinsic part of the genre, as you may note the very prominent “blax” in “blaxploitation.” There’s nothing in particular about Peter Parker that makes him white, except that back in the day (and still too a degree today) saying “skinny nerd” would typically make you think of a white kid. But other than that, his race really doesn’t matter at all. Anyway, there’s no way that they could have made him a race other than white because the only way you could make minority characters back then was to have their minority be their defining trait, hence guys like Black Panther and Luke Cage.

      • Rusty Shackleford

        See, the outcry begins, just like I said it would

      • anonymous

        Rusty, trolling doesn’t make you any less idiot. Go pee in another sandpit.

      • Ames

        When someone disagrees with you, that doesn’t make it an “outcry”. If you can counter the argument logically, go for it.

      • harry

        LOL Rusty be trollin!!!

    • ugh

      Isn’t that what you wanted Rusty??? A reaction??? Get over it. It’s all in good fun. I personally don’t want DG in Spiderman because I think he’s talented enough to establish his OWN super hero franchise, whoever that super hero may be. If he wants to audition, let him audition!!! He said himself, he doesn’t want to be handed to role, just a chance to try out. I guess you missed that, along with the background of the character of “Shaft”.

      • K

        Rusty is sad. He’s not even defending his own argument and he’s ignored all of the other logical arguments that everyone has given. Its okay though, he’s the one that ends up looking foolish.

    • Jon

      i’m sorry, but i have to agree with the peter is white camp.. the dude is your prototypical emo white nerd, his hobbies are photography and science. spiderman is the alter-ego for all those nerds who can’t be the jock and cannot even pretend to be cool. you can make a case for batman or superman to be non-white, but peter is the whitest dude in whitesville

  • Ashley

    Being white isn’t essential to Peter Parker’s character. Being geeky, being awkward, being from a disadvantaged background…. Those are the things that make Peter Parker who he is. And those are things that Donald Glover could do just as well as any of the other considerations.Besides, what’s the point of doing a reboot if YOU DON’T CHANGE ANYTHING?

    Donald has just as much of a right to audition as any of the other actors. There’s really no reason why he shouldn’t be given a chance. If he is, and the people in charge of casting think another actor is more capable, that’s fine. But Donald should at least be given a chance to try out.

  • Heather

    I mean if Tobey McGuire got to do it, why not Glover?

  • Mike

    He should definately be given an audition (or they should hold open auditions for the role). However, I don’t think that he fits the build of what peter parker should be: a serious, thoughtful, multidimensional character.

    • Jeremy

      All of the other actors who are being considered for the film are white, but aren’t nerdy or “multidimensional”. Zac Efron? Seriously?!

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