At this point, it’s probably safe to say that Donald Glover’s most iconic role will be the one that he will absolutely never play.
As much as the actor is remembered for his role in Community and The Martian, he’s best known as the internet’s favorite choice for Peter Parker.
Back when The Amazing Spider-Man was originally in pre-production and casting rumors were circulating, one eager group of fans began petitioning to see Glover take on the lead role. Andrew Garfield was ultimately cast instead, but the very vocal support for Glover as Spider-Man only became more pronounced when Miles Morales, a half-latino, half-African American Spider-Man was added to Marvel comics canon.
Glover did ultimately voice Miles Morales in the Ultimate Spider-Man cartoon series, but fans want more. The announcement that the actor would be appearing in Spider-Man: Homecoming in a mystery role has led to speculation that Glover’s inclusion is simply because of this grassroots campaign.
As far as Glover’s concerned, though, his inclusion in the movie is more than just a nod to an online petition:
“The Internet is a strange box. It was weird to see that full circle. I only did it because I thought it was a cool role. I’m never going to do something just because…
“You don’t want it to feel like some sort of affirmative action. This wasn’t that at all.”
So according to Glover, his inclusion in the movie fits the story itself, and is about more than giving fans a nice resolution to the meta-narrative that’s grown around his career. After all, Homecoming isn’t Deadpool—it’s not going to break the Fourth Wall just for the heck of it.
For the most part, the internet has accepted that Glover’s chances to play the Wall Crawler have crashed and burned. From the ashes, though, comes a whole new set of speculations over another movie Disney is overseeing—could Glover be the next Lando Calrissian?
On this front, Glover himself is being decidedly vague:
“Yep. There are rumors.”
Thanks for the clarification, Donald.
“I mean, I grew up on it. My dad was a big fan. I had all the toys when I was little. I had a Darth Vader with the lightsaber he has. It was cool. It’s a dynasty. It’s like the bible. I love that franchise.”
Learning that a child born within the last forty years grew up playing with Star Wars toys is hardly breaking news, and it’s difficult to shake the feeling that Glover is deliberately avoiding the question.
Obviously, cryptic interviews are a big part of the movie industry, and Glover’s not about to give his Lando rumors a definitive denial if it’s more fun to tease his fans.
At the same time, though, it’s hard to think of an actor working in Hollywood at the moment who’d be a better fit for matching Billy Dee Williams’ suave charm and swashbuckling scoundrel performance. If the thought has crossed the minds of casual fans, there’s got to be at least some interest from Star Wars moviemakers in trying Glover out for the role.
If only Disney had a way of confirming that Glover might be a good fit for Lando in advance. Perhaps they could find another movie to stick him in for a small role that would both appease fans, and let him essentially audition for Lando Calrissian at the same time?
Perhaps this trial movie could be about a teenager with the proportionate strength of a spider?