As we all know, Spider-man is getting another reboot, although with this version of Peter Parker slotting into the ongoing Marvel Cinematic Universe, this figures to be the last time the character gets re-introduced for a while. But, a new Spider-man means new versions of all the usual cast of characters, and that includes Mary Jane Watson. The character is said to be in next year’s Spider-man: Homecoming opposite Tom Holland’s Spider-man, but there’s been no word on who’s playing her. That changed this week, with rumors flaring up that Zendaya, who was cast in March, is actually playing Mary Jane.
Nothing is for sure yet. The rumors are based on a report from The Wrap claiming that two sources have told them that Zendaya, the 19-year old Disney Channel star, will be playing Mary Jane Watson, one of Peter Parker’s love interests in the comics. Kirsten Dunst most memorably brought the role to life in the Tobey Maguire Spider-man movies, but Mary Jane gave way to Gwen Stacy during the Andrew Garfield run.
The casting would be a significant departure from past superhero movies (and movies in general) in putting an interracial couple at the center of the action (Zendaya is half white, half African-American). It would also be a reflection of Marvel’s recent push toward more diversity in their comics, swapping people of color and women into many marquee superhero roles like Thor, Iron Man, the Incredible Hulk, Spider-man himself, and Captain America.
In March, Deadline and The Hollywood Reporter reported that Zendaya would be joining the cast of Spider-man: Homecoming in a minor role, named Michelle. There’s been some rumblings that Michelle is Michelle Gonzales, a recent love interest of Peter Parker in the comics. But, Zendaya and Tom Holland are about the same age (and much younger than Peter Parker and Michelle Gonzales are in the comics), and Zendaya being a Disney star when Marvel is owned by Disney seems to suggest that Zendaya playing a somewhat unknown comics role is pretty unlikely.
Besides, the mysterious character trick? Really? Star Trek Into Darkness tried this with Benedict Cumberbatch and Khan a few years ago, and absolutely no one bought it. No one falls for that anymore. Now, onto the more important question — is she going to go red for the role?
Photo Via Zendaya’s Tumblr