When Marvel’s Spider-Man swings into his first solo feature film in 2017, he’ll be bringing along with him an all-new cast of high school characters. One of them we know will be played by Zendaya, and it was previously rumored that her character would be the iconic Spidey love interest Mary Jane Watson. But that rumor was never confirmed by Marvel, and now a new interview with the singer/actress in The Hollywood Reporter sure makes it sound like she might not be Mary Jane after all.
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THR asked Zendaya if her character is Peter Parker’s (Tom Holland) love interest, and she answered negatively. “My character is not romantic,” said Zendaya. “My character is like very dry, awkward, intellectual and because she’s so smart, she just feels like she doesn’t need to talk to people, like ‘My brain is so far ahead of you that you’re just not really on my level.’ So she comes off very weird. But to me, she is very cool because she’s deep. She’s always thinking about something, always reading. I like that. And I also like that I don’t really have to do anything for hair and makeup. I just get to walk in and walk out.”
That sure doesn’t sound like the Mary Jane Watson of the comics, who’s way more energetic, confident and outgoing (even if it’s hiding her own inner doubts). It does sound a little bit more like the Ultimate Universe’s version of Gwen Stacy, although it remains to be seen if that’s who Zendaya is playing. Zendaya joined the Marvel movie back in March when it was announced that she would be playing a character named “Michelle.” Since Marvel movies often give misleading character names, it’s been assumed that Michelle is code for a known Spidey character. A rumor in August said she’d be playing Mary Jane, but this new character description doesn’t really match up – unless the film’s offering a new take on MJ.
Zendaya also addressed the fans that were angry about an African-American Mary Jane, and cast further doubt on whether or not that is who she’s actually playing.
“People are going to react over anything. But nothing [about who she is playing] is fact. It’s like, you guys are just making shit up at this point and then reacting to it. Whenever we were on set, one of us gets some random character name [on the call sheet]. [Bloggers were] like, ‘Oh they must be so and so.’ And we just crack up about it, because it’s like, ‘Whatever you want to think. You’ll find out.’ It’s funny to watch the guessing game. But of course there’s going to be outrage over that because for some reason some people just aren’t ready. I’m like, ‘I don’t know what America you live in, but from what I see when I walk outside my streets of New York right now, I see lots of diversity and I see the real world and it’s beautiful, and that’s what should be reflected and that’s what is reflected so you’re just going to have to get over it.’”
Directed by Jon Watts, “Spider-Man: Homecoming” stars Tom Holland, Michael Keaton, Zendaya, Donald Glover, Jacob Batalon, Laura Harrier, Tony Revolori, Tyne Daly, Bokeem Woodbine, Marisa Tomei and Robert Downey Jr. The film opens July 7, 2017.