Fans have been campaigning for Donald Glover to do a Spider-Man movie for years. Every time Sony resets the franchise, his name is a fan favorite. When he cameoed in Spider-Man: Homecoming as Aaron Davis, seemingly playing Miles Morales’ uncle—something that has never been confirmed as canon—fans thought this opened the door for him to join the MCU. But it wasn’t meant to be. Now it appears he’s finally entering the Spider-Man franchise, as The Hollywood Reporter reports that Glover “is attached” to star in and produce a movie for Sony’s Spider-Man universe. In case you’ve lost track of your superhero universes, this is the one that features Venom, Morbius and the upcoming films Kraven the Hunter, Spider-Woman and Madame Web.
Slow down, because in traditional Donald Glover style, he’s not giving you a new Spider-Man or any other variation of the web crawler. The film, which is being written by Eddie Murphy’s son, Myles Murphy, will reportedly focus on an obscure Spidey villain named Hypno-Hustler. This character isn’t one of Peter Parker’s top-shelf enemies, so it’s completely understandable if you’re asking yourself, ‘Who in the blue hell is Hypno-Hustler?’ Well, I spent my time researching the answer, so you don’t have to.
Antoine Desloin is a singer who discovers he and his band, the Mercy Killers, can use their equipment to hypnotize people into giving the group their money and valuables. Unfortunately, they try this out on an audience that includes Peter and his friends, with Spidey quickly taking down the band. Hypno-Hustler uses his guitar, specially-powered goggles, singing voice, and boots containing knock-out gas and retractable blades to commit crimes.
No matter who the actor is, anytime someone joins a major comic book franchise the role comes with tons of pressure from die-hard fans. Playing an obscure character that very few fans have an emotional attachment to allows Glover the freedom to make the part his own. Maybe Antoine is a smooth R&B singer, maybe he’s a progressive hip-hop star, maybe he’s a serious, issues-oriented rapper? Or perhaps he’s all of the above? The point is, Hypno-Hustler can be whoever Glover wants. Personally, I’m picturing a character who’s a charming combination of Childish Gambino and Atlanta’s Earn, with an eccentric dash of Teddy Perkins.
If done well, the Community star can make Hypno-Hustler a much bigger deal than he is now. Think about what Samuel L. Jackson did for Nick Fury. Yes, he was always a crucial part of Marvel Comics and involved in multiple storylines, but once Jackson embodied him in the MCU, the character’s popularity skyrocketed.
If anyone can update Hypno-Hustler and make him interesting its Donald Glover. However, he’s not my main concern. If you’ve been paying attention, Venom and Morbius aren’t exactly high-quality comic book movies. As much as I trust Donald, I have serious reservations about whatever Sony is doing with its standalone Spider-Man franchise.