The X-Men franchise gave closure to the majority of its original actors with Days of Future Past, and Logan played cleanup for Hugh Jackman and Patrick Stewart. Ryan Reynolds got a second shot at the game thanks to Deadpool, as has Jonah Hex star Josh Brolin as both Thanos and Cable. Even actors with shorter superhero tenures such as Brandon Routh and Zachary Levi found luck on their side thanks to Legends of Tomorrow and the upcoming Shazam! film. Garfield has yet to receive a similar chance. He once said the experience of playing Peter Parker, a character he loves, left him “heartbroken.” Casting him as an adult Peter, even as an animated one, would provide him and the character some sort of resolution.
When the first Spider-Men crossover comic arrived in 2012, there was a noticeable age gap between Peter and Miles. The latter was 13 going on 14, and while Peter’s age could never be really placed, you could reasonably guess it’s late-20s to early-30s. The animation side of the Spider-Man franchise has tightened the gap between them significantly, with the current cartoon appearing to place them a couple months apart at best. It wouldn’t be too surprising, then, if Spider-Verse’s Peter and Miles’s gap was small> This would maintain the mentor/mentee dynamic while their relative youth doesn’t feel like a roadblock between them. By the time Into the Spider-Verse arrives, the Peter Parker of Amazing would be 23 or 24. That’s more than enough time for him to have enough experience to properly be a mentor to Miles.
Garfield’s inclusion in Spider-Verse would be thematically appropriate for both the actor and the Amazing films. In the lead up to Amazing 2, the actor was outspoken about wanting to have genuine changes to Peter Parker. He wanted a more modern interpretation of the character than was offered by Maguire in the past, or Tom Holland currently. He flat out stated that he considered Miles’ introduction “a huge moment…a really beautiful and important move” in Spidey’s overall life. Thus, he was interested the two characters coexisting, or failing that, to pass the torch on to Miles’ eventual actor.
Spider-Man’s big appeal is that he could be anyone under the mask, and you can see the potential for this in Amazing Spider-Man 2. Specifically, the brief scenes in the film wherein he interacts with a young boy named Jorge. First, we see him helping the boy with his science project. Jorge, in turn, dresses as his hero at the end of the film, being so brave as to stand up to Rhino before Peter saves him. It’s not difficult to imagine Miles in place of Jorge, something fans certainly did at the time.
Producers Avi Arad (who is co-producing this film) and Matt Tolmach had a very different outlook on Miles, and were not on the same page as Garfield. For them, utilizing any Spider-hero that wasn’t Peter would only happen when Sony was no longer in charge of him. That gun shy, incredibly backwards attitude is what made some fans clamor for Miles to replace Peter when the MCU joint custody deal was first announced.
Garfield’s well-known interest in introducing Miles is something fans have considered to be a positive in his favor. With Marvel now having joint custody and making steps towards including Miles in the live action films, Garfield has some well-deserved vindication. By no means is he the reason that Miles is getting a movie, but Garfield’s inclusion in the film could be a nice bit of schadenfreude.
Into the Spider-Verse provides the perfect opportunity to close out Garfield’s story. Even if one didn’t care for his pair of films, there’s no denying that he got the raw end of a deal and deserves a proper send off. He would probably be game to do it to begin with, and it isn’t like this universe would suddenly stop existing just because the series ended. Do it, Sony, let Garfield get one last swing in.
Produced by Avi Arad, Amy Pascal, Phil Lord, Christopher Miller and Christina Steinberg, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse stars Shameik Moore, Liev Schreiber, Mahershala Ali and Brian Tyree Henry. The film opens Dec. 14, 2018.
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