Back in March, Spider-Man: Homecoming cast Disney Channel star Zendaya in a “key role”, but there were few details given about what that role could be. At the time, Deadline said the character’s name was “Michelle”, which could be based on Michele Gonzalez, a character from the comics who becomes Peter Parker’s roommate and love interest.
But now The Wrap is claiming that Zendaya is not playing “Michelle”, and instead is set to play a role that is sure to create controversy because the filmmakers are veering from the holy writ of the comics. According to The Wrap, Zendaya is playing Peter Parker’s long-time love interest, Mary Jane Watson.
For those who aren’t familiar with the character or the comics, Watson has always been a Caucasian redhead who informs people when they hit the jackpot. Her history is about as long as Peter’s at this point, and although she wasn’t his first serious girlfriend in the comics (that honor goes to the doomed Gwen Stacy), she has been his longtime partner.
Ultimate Spider-Man did something fairly interesting with the character: she was Peter’s closest friend, and the first person he told he was Spider-Man. That provided a fresh and interesting dynamic to their friendship, and I’m wondering if that’s the same kind of relationship that we’ll see in Spider-Man: Homecoming.
While I’m sure there are those who will reject Zendaya playing Mary Jane because of her mixed-race heritage (I’m sure there are those who will go even further and reject her because she’s not sporting red hair for the movie), I would say that maybe we should look past the superficial aspects of the character and be willing to see what Zendaya does. Rather than make a judgment call on her looks, let’s judge the performance.
Spider-Man: Homecoming opens July 7, 2017 and also stars Tom Holland, Robert Downey Jr., Marisa Tomei, Michael Keaton, Bokeem Woodbine, Donald Glover, Hannibal Buress, Abraham Attah, Martin Starr, Tony Revolori, Michael Barbieri, and Angourie Rice.
For more on Spider-Man: Homecoming, click on the links below:
- ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ Promo Poster Drops In
- ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ Adds Michael Chernus as The Tinkerer
- ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ Set Photos Get Up Close With Those Web-Shooters
- ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ Adds UFC Fighter Tyron Woodley & Comedian Martha Kelly
- Kevin Feige Says ‘Spider-Man’ Sequels Could Follow the ‘Harry Potter’ Format