When Jacob Batalon was first announced to be joining the cast of Spider-Man: Homecoming, speculation and fan theories about who he might be playing spread like wildfire online. At first, all we knew was that Batalon would be playing Peter’s best friend in the film. Eventually, it was confirmed that the young actor would be playing Ned Leeds, but prior to that, the most popular theory was that Batalon would be playing Ganke. For those of you who don’t know, Ganke was Miles Morales’s best friend in the Ultimate Spider-Man comic series, and one of the only people Miles ever shared his secret identity with. Given that this is a new version of Spider-Man, the theory made sense. If you’re talking old school Spidey, Harry Osborn would normally fill that role, but since we’ve already seen two versions of that character onscreen in the past two franchises, changing things up was the only logical thing to do.
Even after the announcement was made that Ned Leeds would be one of Peter’s closest friends and confidants, the debate didn’t stop there. After the first trailer dropped, fans took to the interwebs to point out the similarities in Homecoming’s Leeds and Ganke. After months of silence, Ganke co-creator Brian Michael Bendis finally broke the silence and gave his take on the similarities Leeds shares with his character:
“I’ll be very honest right now. I have not talked about this publicly, but it feels very bizarre,” said Bendis on the podcast Ultimate Spin. “Most of the time when characters I’ve had a hand in make it to the screen, from Jessica Jones to Maria Hill to Quake, the level of quality in the adaptation and care in which they bring it past the initial adaptation has been uniformally amazing – second to none.”
From these comments, it’s clear that Bendis has been happy with nearly all of the onscreen versions of his characters. For those of you who may be unaware of his work, Bendis has had a hand in creating many characters in the Marvel universe, including Maria Hill, Quake, Miles Morales, White Tiger, and Riri Williams. Several of his characters have also popped up in the MCU, and have been fairly faithful to their comic book counterparts. However, it seems that Bendis is less than thrilled that people have been drawing comparisons between Ganke and Leeds. He goes on to clarify his stance later in the interview:
“I’ve not seen Spider-Man: Homecoming, so wait until we see what we see. But yeah, it’s bizarre and flattering,” the writer continued. “I don’t even know that Ganke was the inspiration, or that they got to this place on their own. It seems like it might have been, but no one’s told me. . . . But Ganke wasn’t part of Peter’s story – he was part of Miles.”
While it doesn’t seem like he’s upset about the similarities, it definitely appears that he would rather have Ganke left for Miles Morales stories. We’ll have to see how similar the two really end up being come July. What are your thoughts? Do you wish Ganke would’ve shown up instead of Leeds, or should he be left for Miles Morales stories? Sound off in the comments below!
Spider-Man: Homecoming swings into theaters on July 7, 2017.