The rumors of a Peter Parker Sony/MCU film are getting louder and more difficult to ignore but I’m going to continue plugging my ears because I want Alfie Enoch to play Miles Morales more than anything.
Now I fully understand that Miles is supposed to be young, trust me I get that, and as much as I wish the studios would finance a film about a middle school superhero I just don’t believe they would ever do that. There is too much risk in older audiences not being able to relate to a young kid or not believing that a tween boy could save lives (because that’s unrealistic). So let’s say they decided to use Miles but aged him into high school. He could still suffer from the same amount of emotional anguish without the unnecessary burden of graduating and college applications. He can worry about that in due time, when we’ve already grown to know and love the character.
You might be concerned with Alfie Enoch’s height. Yeah, it’s a spectacle and might pose a problem but not a tragic one. Make it a joke, make it something he’s sensitive about, make it something the other kids tease him about mercilessly. Here’s this fumbling, awkward black kid that has the perfect build to play sports and maybe get a chance to leave the Bronx but instead all he wants to do is study science and possibly not disappoint his parents. Something that is always apparent in any Spider-origin is feeling out of place, trying to juggle the normalcy of life while still trying to save a burning building full of people.
Enoch definitely can not pull off playing a 14 yr old like Asa Butterfield can but the right amount of wardrobe and make-up can at least make him a believable teenager. He would be able to convey the innocence and good-natured naivety of Miles like he has been doing with Wes Gibbins’ character on HTGAWM. There is something inherently likable about Enoch and he would bring a soft charm to Miles that is definitely needed in this time of anti-heroes and gritty reimaginings.
Miles deserves someone that won’t patronize his wide-eyed wonderment or hope for the good in people and I think Enoch would do a splendid job of accentuating those features instead of trying to make it more than it is. Miles doesn’t have a sordid past or a penchant for danger, he’s just a kid that wants to make his parents proud and even when faced with a personal dilemma would put himself in harm’s way because he would never want anyone else hurt despite his insistence to just be a regular teenager.
The beauty in Miles’ origin is that you don’t really need to show much to understand why it’s happening. You can literally recap it in one flashback just like the Netflix Daredevil series. You don’t need a whole movie about him becoming Spider-Man, he just is. In fact in the comics there are months between Miles getting bit and him actually needing to become Spider-Man at all. So maybe he’s been Spider-Man for a couple years and only now is his uncle just figuring out it’s him. Or maybe they don’t even use that storyline yet, maybe he’s just fighting the toughest guy he’s faced so far. Or maybe he’s fighting off a team of villains now. The point is, it absolutely does not need to be an origin story with Miles because he’s not Peter Parker so there isn’t that expectation.
I think Miles would be the perfect breath of fresh air that Sony needs right now. Enoch can take his endearing stage presence and apply that to the sweet, uncorrupted soul. This is the kind of boost that could really set his career as a film star and he’s the right age to be signing multiple-picture deals. See, everyone is a winner! Alfie Enoch becomes name that people recognize and consider as the next Idris Elba instead of that giant kid from the Harry Potter movies, Sony/MCU locks in a young actor for a brand new franchise, and we as fans finally can watch a web-slinger that hasn’t already had 5 movies in the last 15 years. We get a wise-cracking kid with mixed ethnicities and parents who dread the day he might fall into gang activity, because while stodgy old fans who grew up being picked on for being a little nerdy might not be able to relate I can promise you droves of kids in younger generations will have no trouble seeing themselves in Miles.