Movies

Spider-Man back on big screen, but this time he's black and Latino

For what seems like the umpteenth time, Spider-Man is back on the big screen.

But this year, when Hollywood is under the microscope on the hot-button issue of diversity, the superhero is half-black and half-Latino.

Step aside, Peter Parker. There is a new Spidey in town - Miles Morales.

Miles as Spidey is not new to comic book enthusiasts, but he is new to moviegoers, who earlier this year embraced the long-awaited arrival of the Marvel universe's first black hero, Black Panther, on the silver screen.

Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse, which sneaks here tomorrow and opens on Dec 13, is a free-wheeling animated look at the multiple Spideys in parallel dimensions, including Spider-Ham (yes, a pig) and two women.

This time, an older Parker is a mentor to Miles, who is voiced by 23-year-old Shameik Moore, an Atlanta-born actor-singer with Jamaican roots.

Long before Moore landed the role, he had hoped that he would get the chance to play Miles and had even written about it in a journal given to him by a friend.

"One of the things I wrote in there very early on was, 'I am Spider-Man. I am Miles Morales,'" he said.

Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse sneaks here tomorrow and opens on Dec 13. PHOTO: SONY PICTURES

Moore first drew notice in the well- received indie film Dope in 2015 and says being chosen to play Morales is as rare as being bitten by a radioactive spider.

He recounted: "That spider chose him. However, many thousands of people live in Brooklyn... Sony chose me to play Miles Morales out of the hundreds of thousands of people that auditioned."

The film recalls the visual style of the original comic books, with less refined art and speech balloons on screen.

Its release comes one month after the death at age 95 of the character's creator, Marvel legend Stan Lee, who is listed as an executive producer and has a cameo appearance in animated form.

Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse is generating major buzz and currently has a 100 per cent "fresh rating" on Rotten Tomatoes. - AFP

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