Can a black guy play Spider-Man?

Last week the Internets starting buzzing when actor/comedian Donald Glover (right) began an online campaign to get an audition to play Spider-Man in the upcoming series reboot.  I started to write a lengthy essay about this topic, got sidetracked, and in the meantime and in-between time, Drew McSweeny at HITFIX came pretty close to saying what was on my mind. You can read McSweeny’s thoughts by clicking HERE, and please know that I agree with almost everything he says. The one thing I disagree with him about is his assertion that films with black actors don’t play well in foreign markets. The truth of the matter is that some films with black actors don’t play well in foreign markets, which is often the result of release patterns that can’t allow films with black actors to do well. The other truth, which may simply be an exception to the quasi-rule, is that Will Smith backs a dump-truck up to foreign boxoffices to haul away all the cash his films make. Smith is easily one of the biggest stars in the global film market, making as much if not more overseas as he does domestically.  And while he’s not on par with Will Smith, your jaw would hit the floor if you saw some of Eddie Murphy’s foreign earnings (Meet Dave earned only $11 million domestic, but $38 million foreign, The Haunted Mansion made $75 million domestic and $105 million foreign). By comparison, Ice Cube’s films do such bad business overseas that one is left wondering if his movies even play in foreign markets (the one exception being XXX: State of the Union, which earned $26 million domestic, and $44 million foreign).  My point being that the notion that movies with black actors don’t do well overseas has plagued Hollywood for decades, and it needs to addressed. So too does the ridiculous racism that runs rampant among comic book fans that are morally opposed to the notion of a black actor playing Spider-Man. And again, I encourage you to read McSweeny’s thoughts on that topic.

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One Response to “Can a black guy play Spider-Man?”

  1. Trev Says:

    I think Glover could do this (I know they’ve already casted another guy). He’d nail the snarky Spiderman thing, though I don’t know how he’d fair in the dramatic moments. I know he’s freakin hilarious as Troy on Community

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