During one key scene in Spider-Man: Homecoming, it is heavily implied that the character of Miles Morales exists within the Marvel Cinematic Universe. That’s a pretty big deal, so are we going to see Morales on screen? Or is this mainly just an Easter Egg with no broader significance?
It seems pretty unlikely for now that Miles Morales will become a player in the Marvel Cinematic Universe anytime soon. After all, Marvel Studios has talked about the fact that they plan to keep Tom Holland as their Spider-Man for quite some time.
In a recent interview, Tom Holland said that he likes the idea of seeing Peter Parker grow up on screen and that he hopes to tell this story over many movies.
“Peter Parker is a character we see [in the comic books] as a 15-year-old boy and then as a 35-year-old man,” Holland said. “So I have an idea of what I’d like to do, and I’ve pitched it and it’s already been taken into the boardroom. It would be really cool if it pans out, because it means I would be Spider-Man for a very long time.”
In addition, Marvel President Kevin Feige has compared the upcoming Spider-Man movies to Harry Potter, a film series in which audiences saw a young boy grow up over the course of 10 years.
“…[I]t was sort of how do we do a journey for Peter not dissimilar for what the students of Hogwarts would go through each of their years, which was one of the early ideas we had for the movies,” Feige told Collider.
Kevin Feige also recently said that Spider-Man will lead audiences into the next era of the Marvel movies after the fourth Avengers film.
“The original 22-movie arc ends with the untitled Avengers in May of 2019, and then two months later it will be Peter Parker and Spider-Man that usher us into the aftermath and how things proceed from there,” Feige told the Toronto Sun.
With this all being said, there are basically three possible readings of the Miles Morales line in Spider-Man: Homecoming.
One is that it’s just a simple Easter Egg, a nod to the comic book fans in the audience who understand what it means when Aaron Davis says he has a nephew. It’s also a bit of a meta reference, as the character of Miles Morales was inspired in part by Donald Glover himself.
The second explanation is that Sony asked for this reference as a way to tease their upcoming Miles Morales film. Sony Pictures, you’ll recall, is working on a series of Spider-Man movies that don’t take place within the same continuity as the Marvel Cinematic Universe. One of those is an animated Spider-Man movie which will revolve around Miles Morales, not Peter Parker. While the reference in Spider-Man: Homecoming would not be directly setting up that film, it could be intended to get us talking about Morales ahead of his motion picture debut in 2018.
The third explanation is that this is Marvel playing an incredibly long game, setting up Miles Morales for future use as someone to take over for Tom Holland a decade or so down the line. If Miles is currently five or six in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, he would be Spider-Man age in about 10 years, at which point Marvel could be wanting to retire Peter Parker and have a new Spider-Man take over. This is all just speculation, but if that’s the plan, it would certainly be ambitious of Marvel to seed in an idea in a movie that will not pay off until late into the 2020s. Then again, that’s precisely what they did with Thanos in The Avengers, as this character would not become a primary villain until 13 movies down the road.
It’s theoretically also possible that Miles Morales could be introduced while Tom Holland is still around and they could work together, similar to how War Machine functioned in the Iron Man movies, although in the comics, Morales was brought in to replace Spider-Man.
For now, Spider-Man fans can get excited for the animated Miles Morales film, which is currently scheduled to be released on December 14th, 2018.