Peter Parker (AKA Spider-Man) is one of comic books’ greatest nerds. A scrawny high schooler interested in science and photography, he is a character that many outsiders can relate to. And Sony, apparently, wants to keep this tradition with the character — even to the point of demanding it in writing.
Since their embarrassing hack last year, many documents have shown some of the more horrible and questionable things going on in Hollywood. One of the items, according to Gawker, is a licensing agreement stating how Spider-Man and/or Peter Parker are to be represented on the silver screen.
Here are the traits they want out of Peter Parker:
As you can see, these are pretty much what the character’s traits are in the comics. And same for both incarnations of the character in the films. Which is funny, because having Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man films and — less than a decade later — having a whole new (yet, kinda the same) franchise with an identical origin story kinda sunk those new films. And now, with a third franchise in the works, that means we will see — yet again — a nerdy Peter Parker get bitten by a radioactive spider and thus giving him powers.
Also looking at this character trait list, Peter Parker is so white bread he sounds like a character from “Friends.”
What is interesting is the demand that Peter Parker must be Caucasian, middle-class, from New York and straight. Not that there is a huge issue with that, but it seems like a weird demand to tie a scriptwriter to. I mean, how can they try to do something different with the character (again, whom we have seen two almost identical origins of this character in the past 15 years) while being stuck with such limitations? But given how the Internet exploded in a troll rage of anger and Cheetos dust when it was announced that Johnny Storm will be black in the new “Fantastic Four” film, who knows how angry a black Peter Parker would have made them.
But before people lose their minds and jump to conclusions, there is a sneaky way for Spider-Man to be different:
So, Spider-Man can come from any walk of life as long as his identity is not Peter Parker and it goes along with a canon character. So maybe, just maybe we can see Donald Glover finally grace the screen as Miles Morales’ Spider-Man.
Also, they had to state Spider-Man doesn’t torture and/or sell drugs, probably to circumvent some Nolan-wannabe from making a dark, gritty Spider-Man film where he waterboards Doctor Octopus for losing his smack shipment — I guess.
So, with these limitations, we are almost guaranteed that Spider-Man will remain a white, nerdy stick-in-the-mud who has to design his first red and blue costume because that, too, is a weird trait demanded.