Spider-Man: Homecoming logo

Photo credit: Sam Aronov / Shutterstock.com
Photo credit: Sam Aronov / Shutterstock.com

Last week, the sh** hit the fan when a “source” reported that 14 year-old actor Michael Barbieri had been cast in ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ as a character inspired by Ganke Lee, the Korean-American best friend of ‘Ultimate’ Spider-Man, Miles Morales.  This was even though it was stated that he was playing a brand new character not from the comic books– since this movie was about Peter Parker, played by Tom Holland, not Miles Morales.

But SEVERAL websites glossed over that and reported that Barbieri, who is Caucasian, was playing Ganke and critics hauled out the pitchforks and torches at what they perceived as another case of whitewashing in American cinema.

Director Jon Watts ain’t havin’ it.  Barbieri is playing a brand new character and Watts is shooting down any Ganke-related gossip, via Twitter:

According to the most recent reports, the animated ‘Spider-Man’ movie will center on Miles Morales, so if that turns out to be correct, then Ganke will for sure be included in that.

As it stands, ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ has a pretty diverse cast in place, with biracial Zendaya, African American Laura Harrier, Guatemalan American Tony Revolori and Asian American Kenneth Choi, in addition to Marisa Tomei, Robert Downey Jr. and possibly Michael Keaton as the unrevealed villain (who is probably The Vulture) and Donald Glover, also in an undisclosed role.  (Some are speculating that he’s playing Miles, but that is one of the stupidest things I have ever heard, considering that in the comics, Miles is a good ten years younger than Peter, but whatever.  Have fun with that.)

So can we consider this case closed?  Barbieri is not only not playing Ganke, but his character isn’t even based on him, according to Watts.

‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ directed by Jon Watts, starring Tom Holland, Marisa Tomei, Robert Downey Jr., Zendaya, Laura Harrier, Tony Revolori, Michael Barbieri  and hopefully Michael Keaton and Donald Glover will hit theaters on July 7, 2017.