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Stan “The Man” Lee weighs in on the “Donald Glover for Spider-Man” controversy


By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: We’re not ready to turn this site into Superhero Hype just yet, but a number of major news items regarding upcoming comic book movies are hitting the Web and need to be addressed.

Remember when it was suggested online that comedian Donald Glover, a co-star on NBC’s hilarious “Community,” should be considered for the role of Peter Parker in Marc Webb’s upcoming “Spider-Man” reboot? And Glover, psyched by this groundswell of support, took to his Twitter account to sort of feed the fire?

The response was split. Many supported Glover openly, including HitFix columnist Drew McWeeny. Fan boys, meanwhile, largely rebelled against the notion of a black Spidey in various online forums.

Well, someone whose opinion counts more than anyone in this debate weighed in on the matter: Stan “The Man” Lee, creator of old Web head and the final word on all things Marvel Comics. And what did Lee have to say about the possibility of Glover, a black actor, playing Spider-Man.

“Anybody who is qualified should have a chance to audition,” Lee said, noting that white characters like Kingpin and Nick Fury have been portrayed on screen by black actors (Michael Clark Duncan and Samuel L. Jackson).

Right on!

But Lee did quantify his statement by adding that while he has no influence over who Marvel casts, it “might be confusing to people” because “everybody seems to be familiar with Spider-Man. … But that’s a matter for the people at Marvel to take into consideration. I certainly don’t want to weigh in on it in any way, except to say I think Glover is a fine actor.”

He is, indeed. Will it matter? Will Sony give him a shot to audition? We’ll find out soon enough. “Spider-Man” is expected to swing into theaters on July 3, 2012.

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About Sean O'Connell

Sean O'Connell is a nationally recognized film critic. His reviews have been published in print ('The Washington Post,' 'USA Today') and online (AMC FilmCritic.com, MSN's Citysearch) since 1996. He's a weekly contributor to several national radio programs. He is a longstanding member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS), and the Southeastern Film Critics View all articles by Sean O'Connell Association (SEFCA).

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