Spider-Man is back on screen, but this time he’s black and Latino

Jake Johnson, Shameik Moore, Mahershala Ali, Luna Lauren Velez, Hailee Steinfeld, Brian Tyree Henry, Lily Tomlin and film makers attend the Photo Call For Sony Pictures Releasing's "Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse" at Four Seasons Hotel Los Angeles at Beverly Hills on November 30, 2018 in Los Angeles, California. (AFP)
Updated 02 December 2018
0

Spider-Man is back on screen, but this time he’s black and Latino

  • The idea for a Spider-Man of color first took hold in 2008, when Barack Obama was elected US president

LOS ANGELES: 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’s a new Spidey in town. Hello, Miles Morales.
Miles as Spidey is not new to comic book enthusiasts, but he is new to theater-goers, 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 hits US theaters on December 14, 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 and singer with Jamaican roots.
Long before Moore landed the major role, he hoped he would get the chance to play Miles, he told AFP in an interview. He 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.
Moore first drew notice in the well-received indie film “Dope” in 2015. He says being chosen to play Morales is as rare as... being bitten by a radioactive spider.
“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,” he recounted.

The film recalls the visual style of the original comic books, with less refined art and speech balloons that appear on screen.
Its release comes one month after the death at age 95 of the character’s creator, Marvel legend Stan Lee.
But the man behind a stable of heroes, from The Hulk to the X-Men, is still present — he is listed as an executive producer and, as is customary for Marvel films, Lee has a cameo appearance — in animated form.
The cast features Oscar winners Mahershala Ali (Miles’s uncle) and Nicolas Cage (Spider-Man Noir), and Oscar nominees Hailee Steinfeld (Spidey’s love interest Gwen Stacy) and Lily Tomlin (Parker’s Aunt May).
The film is generating major buzz, and currently has a 100 percent “fresh rating” on Rotten Tomatoes, which aggregates reviews from critics.

The idea for a Spider-Man of color first took hold in 2008, when Barack Obama was elected US president.
Miles, whose father is black and mother is Latina, first hit comic book stands as Spider-Man in a parallel universe in 2011 following Parker’s apparent death.
In an animated television version, of-the-moment actor-musician Donald Glover voiced Miles.
But a film adaptation always seemed likely, as Tinseltown works to show that not all superheroes have to be white men. “Black Panther” and “Wonder Woman” stand as proof that fans are ready for different heroes.
“Everything is based off the business,” said Jake Johnson, who plays Parker in the film.
“The reason that projects are getting more multicultural and more women as leaders... People want to see that — they’re paying to see it.”


Mo Salah’s wife: Egyptian women’s icon who shuns limelight

Updated 18 September 2019

Mo Salah’s wife: Egyptian women’s icon who shuns limelight

  • Salah prefers to keep his private life in general away from the glare of the media

CAIRO: Magi Sadeq, 25, is known for keeping a low profile in the media compared to the wives of other footballers. 

The wife of Liverpool and Egypt star Mohamed Salah has become something of a celebrity in her own right after appearing with her husband while maintaining a conservative look.

Salah prefers to keep his private life in general away from the glare of the media, but sometimes there is no escaping the spotlight for his wife and daughter.

Sadeq appeared with her husband at celebrations held by the Confederation of African Football when Salah won the African Player of the Year award. She also appeared with their daughter Makka during celebrations marking Salah’s winning of the Premier League Golden Boot award, and after Liverpool won the 2019 UEFA Champions League.

Sadeq was born and raised in Nagrig, a village in Gharbia where Salah was also born. It is the same place where they like to spend their holidays and special occasions whenever they have the chance.

FASTFACT

Sadeq appeared with her husband at celebrations held by the Confederation of African Football when Salah won the African Player of the Year award.

She has a twin sister, Mohab, and two other sisters, Mahy and Miram. Their parents were both teachers at Mohamed Eyad Al-Tantawi School, where she met the future Egyptian international.

Sadeq, who maintains a simple lifestyle, fell in love with Salah 10 years before they married. Their love story was the talk of the town where they lived.

They were married in 2013 as the player started taking his first steps in Europe with Swiss football club Basel. They married when he returned home for his first holiday.  

She keeps her husband connected to his rural roots. She doesn’t have any social media accounts, and unlike other footballer’s wives, she is not interested in appearance and makeup. She prefers to wear body-covering conservative clothes.

Sadeq and her twin sister both obtained their degrees in biotechnology from Alexandria University. She is responsible for her husband’s charity work in Egypt. Her neighbors say that she helps in buying the necessary home appliances and other needs of newly married couples. She also supervises charity work and regularly attends the special events staged by her village even though she has been made busier after her husband joined Liverpool.

Salah once said of his wife: “I am unfair to Magi as I give her the least of my time due to the nature of my work. I would like to thank her for her support and for being in my life.”