Peter Parker and his arachnid alter-ego Spiderman can't be portrayed on screen as a homosexual, or as a member of any non-Caucasian race, according to a leaked 2011 licensing agreement between Sony Pictures Entertainment and Marvel Entertainment.
Gossip website Gawker first reported on the leaked agreement, which has a list of draconian rules for Peter Parker and crime-fighting superhero Spiderman.
The list of "mandatory Spider-Man character traits" requires that the character:
- Is male
- Does not torture
- Does not kill in defence of self or others
- Does not use foul language beyond PG-13
- Does not smoke tobacco
- Does not sell/distribute illegal drugs
- Does not abuse alcohol
- Does not have sex before the age of 16
- Does not have sex with anyone below the age of 16, and
- Is not a homosexual, unless "Marvel has portrayed that alter-ego as a homosexual".
The agreement also includes a list of mandatory character traits Peter Parker must have, including:
- That his full name is Peter Benjamin Parker;
- He is Caucasian and heterosexual;
- His parents become absent from his life during his childhood;
- From the time his parents become absent he is raised by Aunt May and Uncle Ben in New York City;
- He gains his powers while attending either middle school or college;
- He gains his powers from being bitten by a spider;
- He designs his first red and blue costume;
- The black costume is a symbiote and not designed by him;
- He is raised in a middle-class household in Queens, New York;
- He attends or attended high school in Queens, New York; and
- He attends or attended college in New York City.
The rules mean that Sony can depict other versions of Spiderman, as long as they don't share the same Peter Parker alter-ego.
This means that Spiderman can be black or gay, for example, but still won't be able to enjoy a couple of beers after a tough day spent fighting crime.
The information was disclosed in a massive data leak from whisleblower website WikiLeaks.
Spider-man is rumoured to be making cameo appearance in the upcoming Captain America: Civil War or Avengers 3 movies, after Sony and Marvel Studios came to a deal over the character's rights. Some fans are campaigning for this Spider-man to be Miles Morales /Spider-Man i
Some fans are campaigning for this Spider-man to be Miles Morales. Morales – a half-black/Latino 13-year-old – first appeared in Marvel's Ultimate Spider-Man comic series, and took on the mantle of Spider-man after witnessing Peter Parker's heroic deaths.