Sony Pictures has confirmed Miles Morales is getting a live-action adaptation – but I don't want one. Well, not right now, anyway.
Speaking to Variety ahead of the world premiere for Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, the second installment in Miles' animated big-screen adventures, Sony producer Amy Pascal revealed a live-action take on the fan-favorite Spider-Man character was in development. Currently, it's unclear if Miles' live-action film will exist in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), the burgeoning Sony Spider-Man universe (SSU), or its own reality entirely.
Regardless of which universe Miles ends up in, I'm not keen on the Puerto Rican-African American superhero making the leap to live action just yet. And there are a few big reasons why I'd be hesitant to see him transition from the comic book and animated movie genres to the customary live-action format.
For starters, it would potentially diminish the worth of Miles' animated films. Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, which released to critical acclaim in 2018, and Across the Spider-Verse, one of our most anticipated new movies of 2023 (read our Across the Spider-Verse review while you're here), are beautiful, technological feats of engineering that do a spectacular job of introducing Miles to a wider audience. Spider-Man: Beyond the Spider-Verse, the trilogy capper to Miles' first foray into the theatrical realm that's due to arrive in March 2024, is sure to be as visually stunning, narratively and thematically rich, and amazingly ambitious as its predecessors, too.
In my mind, a live-action Miles Morales movie would be more immediately appealing to viewers who have grown up on, or are far more used to, watching the best superhero movies in this particular medium. Whether it's set in the MCU, SSU, or DC Extended Universe (DCEU), superhero film fans – diehards and casuals alike – are likely to be drawn to a live-action Miles Morales flick over his animated counterparts. Given how emotionally engaging, visually spectacular, and revolutionary those animated films are, it would be darn shame if that proved to be the case.
Furthermore, crafting a live-action film centered on Miles would see Sony fall into the same trap it has blindly walked into before: covering a Spider-Man character's origin story so soon after previously doing so. Just look at 2012's The Amazing Spider-Man, which starred Andrew Garfield as the titular webhead, which arrived just five years after the final Tobey Maguire Spider-Man movie – 2007's Spider-Man 3 – debuted in theaters. Tom Holland's wallcrawler made his MCU debut less than 18 months after The Amazing Spider-Man 2 arrived in theaters in 2014, too, meaning we got three live-action versions of Peter Parker/Spider-Man in just 14 years. Talk about oversaturation of the market.
I'd hate to see Miles suffer from the same problem, particularly if Sony opts for a traditional origins tale when he eventually swings into the live-action medium. There will be audience members who haven't read any Marvel comics starring Miles or seen his excellent animated offerings before checking out this forthcoming film, too, so the chances of Sony rehashing his superhero beginnings are practically nailed on, in my view.
Then there's the question of which universe Miles will exist in. If he finds a home in the MCU, he'll either compete with Holland's Spider-Man (last seen in 2021's Spider-Man: no Way Home, and who is in line for a fourth MCU outing, potentially as part of Marvel Phase 5) for space in Marvel's cinematic juggernaut, or be the unfortunate follow-up act to one of the MCU's most popular and authentically captured heroes since its inception.
Of course, there's previous form for Peter Parker and Miles Morales co-existing in a satisfying way – Insomniac Games' Spider-Man video game series that stars the pair is proof of that. But what works in one medium (gaming) may not translate well into another (movie making) and lead to confusion among cinema goers as to why there are two Spider-Men in the same world.
If he isn't part of the MCU's future, the most likely scenario is that Miles will become the SSU's primary Spider-Man – and that's a worry in itself.
Despite some of its villain-led live-action films performing well at the global box office – namely, Venom and its sequel Let There Be Carnage – and the Holland-led webslinger's film trilogy, which Sony co-produced alongside Marvel Studios, Sony's track record of making good live-action Spider-Man films has been unspectacular ever since 2004's Spider-Man 2.
From The Amazing Spider-Man's divisive duology to the critically panned Morbius, Sony's live-action adaptations of Spidey and his impressive rogues' gallery has left a lot to be desired. Sure, that could all change with forthcoming live-action films including Kraven the Hunter and Madame Web but, until such a time as Sony creates an amazing Spider-Man-centric flick on its own, myself and many other webheads will remain hesitant over the prospect of the studio doing justice to a live-action Miles Morales film.
There will be a time and a place for a live-action Miles Morales movie to take center stage but, in my opinion, now is not the right time for it. Yes, it's likely to be early in development, meaning a film of this ilk won't see the light of day for a few years yet, so my reservations and hesitancy may have subsided by then. For now, though, they remain valid concerns for me and numerous other Spider-Man fans (as this Reddit thread suggests), and I won't be changing my tune until I'm content that a live-action Miles Morales movie is the natural next step for the beloved wallcrawler to take in the movie making space.