INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE & WOKE Exclusive: Donald Glover "Haunted" The Set Of SPIDER-MAN" & Was Pitched As Keef

INTO THE SPIDER-VERSE & WOKE <font color=red>Exclusive:</font> Donald Glover "Haunted" The Set Of SPIDER-MAN" & Was Pitched As Keef

It is well-known that Donald Glover's aspirations to play Spider-Man helped to inspire the character of Miles Morales, and it's now been revealed to us that he was also pitched as Keef, the star of Woke!

Marvel's Miles Morales, an African-American Spider-Man, has gotten more and more attention as the years go on, and diversity continues to expand throughout multiple forms of media. He has starred as the main character in the hit animated film Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse and the brand new Playstation 5 game, Spider-Man: Miles Morales.

Last month, when speaking with Academy Award-Winner Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse director Peter Ramsey, he told us that Donald Glover was in mind during the film's production and that his "ghost hovered around the set" as they snuck in his Community easter egg.

It turns out that Glover's inspiration on Marvel's Miles Morales led to the actor being pitched as the main character, Keef Knight, in Hulu's auto-biographical comic book television series Woke. The show was just renewed for a second season, and when speaking to creator and comic writer Keith Knight (The K Chronicles), we learned about the parallels between the show and Glover's own Atlanta.

Hear our full conversation with Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse director Peter Ramsey, and cartoonist and Woke inspiration Keith Knight using the podcast player below. Woke fans can also check out our last chat with Keef included along with the transcript.

Literary Joe: I think one of my favorite parts of the movie is the Community cameo from Donald Glover. Do you know whose idea that was or how that came to be?

Peter Ramsey: That feels like it could have been anybody. It feels like it was probably a little Rodney Rothman Easter egg. But it was definitely one of those things, where all through the production, the ghost of Donald Glover was hovering around in one way or another. So it's no surprise, that said, that he snuck in.

Literary Joe: I see parallels between Woke and Atlanta, with the three main characters of each show being very similar to one another, almost like it's a sister series to Atlanta, and I love it. So did you get inspiration from that series?

Keith Knight: Not so much inspiration, but Donald Glover was probably the first version of Keef that we pitched when we were first putting it together. But then Donald Glover got his show, and it was like, "okay, we'll never get Donald Glover." But the inspirations were definitely Atlanta, Insecure, and Dear White People.

We're at a point in Hollywood right now where the door has opened for black creators, and it's going to take two flops for that door to close. And I didn't want to be one of those flops like that. I don't want to be one; I don't want everybody to look at me going, "if it weren't for you, we'd still have a chance." So I think we did it. I think we did it. Okay. I think the door is still open because of the show.

Literary Joe: You mentioned Donald Glover, and he's had a huge inspiration on black Spider-Man, Miles Morales, and so many things.

Keith Knight: So that's why he was the first actor -  not considered, but when we were pitching in the room, Keef would be pitched as Donald Glover. Like when you try to look at a model and try it. Trying with executives, you have to lead them on very much. So I think, yeah. I think the original was like, Donald Glover would be Keef. And the guy from Hot Tub Time Machine, Craig Robinson, as Clovis. Like, just some things that people have in their head.

You know, I'll say this; it's amusing when people are like, "Oh my God. I didn't know there was a real person named Keith Knight that this is based on." So it's funny how I have been doing it for 28 years, I think. And that people are just discovering my work for the first time. And suddenly people are just ordering tons and tons of books.

*This interview has been edited for clarity.*


 
Ignorance was bliss. New comedy series, Woke, follows Keef, An African-American Cartoonist finally on the verge of mainstream success when an unexpected incident changes everything. Keef must now navigate the new voices and ideas that confront and challenge him, all without setting aflame everything he’s already built.

Woke Season 1 is currently streaming on Hulu.

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