Meet the Filipino Actor Playing Peter Parker’s Best Friend in the New Spider-Man Movie

In case you missed it from the new trailer for “Spider-Man: Homecoming”, a young Filipino actor has been cast as Peter Parker’s high school buddy. While a minor character, it marks a step forward for Asian representation in the Marvel cinematic universe.

Jacob Batalon, a Filipino-American actor who recently made his debut in the film “North Woods”, is playing Ned Leeds, a classmate and best friend of Peter Parker. Batalon’s character is supposedly an amalgamation of Leeds, Peter Parker’s Daily Bugle co-worker in the original comics, and Ganke Lee, a supporting character of Miles Morales’ Spider-Man series, Entertainment Weekly reported.

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In the trailer, Batalon, is shown as an effective comic relief and convincing confidant to young Peter Parker. While his character’s name is a known supporting character in the comics, Batalon’s portrayal looks a lot closer to Ganke Lee’s persona.

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Such similarities, however, have led some fans to wonder why Marvel did not have popular Miles Morales play the new Spidey instead.

If Batalon does end up playing the original comics’ Leeds, we might expect more from him in the future movies as the character eventually became a version of Hobgoblin in the comics.

“Spider-Man: Homecoming”, which is scheduled to hit theaters July 7, 2017, stars Tom Holland as the titular web-slinging hero, Michael Keaton as the Vulture, Tony Revolori as Flash Thompson, Laura Harrier as Liz Allan and Zendaya as Michelle, Peter’s love interest.

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