Back in March, Disney Channel star Zendaya was cast to play a character then named ‘Michelle’ in the upcoming Sony-Marvel Studios co-production of Spider-Man: Homecoming. But a new report from The Wrap has revealed that this name was just a ruse to divert fans from who she’d really be playing. This by the way, is your last chance to run before you find out.
According to sources close to the project, the 19-year old will be playing Mary Jane Watson. Of course, this news may result in a section or two of internet exploding in rage.
At the moment of writing, neither Sony, nor reps for Marvel or Zendaya have commented on The Wrap’s reports, so it may be dismissed. According to their report, Zendaya’s character drops several hints of her true identity in one of the most recent drafts of the script. That script by Jonathan Goldstein & John Francis Daley among others- will focus on a high-school age Peter Parker.
Zendaya being MJ Watson (played by Kristen Dunst in the Raimi films, with Shailene Woodley cast in but cut from The Amazing Spider-Man 2) makes sense. Modern-day Queens is an incredibly diverse place, not at all the one that these characters came from in the 60s. Reports of the Homecoming footage screened at San Diego Comic Con said that Zendaya (appearing in very frumpy, outcast-esque costuming) showed great comedic chops playing snarky with Holland’s Peter, and it’s not like Marvel have made bad choices with their lead casting in the past. Plus, it’s just plain awesome having diverse casting like this.
If that wasn’t enough, last month an Entertainment Weekly interview with the lead cast and director revealed that this film’s Flash Thompson (once the bully of Peter Parker, now known in the comics as Venom: Space Knight) will be played by Tony Revolori, who is of Guatemalan descent. The supporting character created in the 60s is not. I love all of this, and if you don’t please take a few moments to consider why.
Watch the trailer for Captain America: Civil War below to remind yourself of Holland’s Spiderman: