Posted on Friday, November 11th, 2016 by Ethan Anderton
Rumors have pegged the actress/singer Zendaya as playing Peter Parker’s usual love interest Mary Jane Watson in Spider-Man: Homecoming, and the name Michelle that she’s been given on call sheets and by director Jon Watts has been deemed to be nothing but misdirection. However, for those who don’t buy the overt cover-up, Zendaya has just thrown out more details about her character that certainly don’t make her sound like the Mary Jane Watson we know. And to go along with these new details, a rumor has surfaced pegging who might actually be Peter Parker’s love interest in Spider-Man: Homecoming.
Honestly, when word came that Zendaya could be playing Mary Jane Watson, I was a little disappointed. No, I wasn’t upset because a traditionally white character may be played by a black actress, because that’s ridiculous. But I was disappointed to hear that Mary Jane was going to end up becoming the Spider-Man Homecoming love interest again so soon. However, if Zendaya’s statements from yesterday are to be believed, that might not be the case.
Find out more below, but beware of potential spoilers.
First, she completely laughs off all the speculation based on what we’ve seen from call sheets and heard from rumors:
“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.”
While that sounds exactly like what misdirection should sound like, her description of her character from an interview that surfaced yesterday sounds unlike any iteration of Mary Jane Watson that the comics have ever seen, so it would be quite the drastic change for the character:
“My character is not romantic. 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.”
So Zendaya may not be Mary Jane Watson, but even if she is, she may not be the love interest either. So who is? Well, a rumor from LRM says that Liz Allan, who will be played by Laura Harrier, will actually be the love interest. That would be a nice change of pace, and would make for some compelling high school romantic drama because in the original comic book run of Spider-Man, at the time Peter Parker was attracted to Liz Allan, she was dating Flash Thompson, who will be played by Tony Revolori.
However, I don’t think that counts out Zendaya as a potential love interest. Assuming that maybe she is Mary Jane Watson, I don’t think the description of her character precludes her from playing Mary Jane.
We’ve heard that director Jon Watts‘ approach to Spider-Man involves a style along the lines of a John Hughes movie. One of the most iconic movies from the Chicago filmmaker is The Breakfast Club. And the footage shown at San Diego Comic-Con from Spider-Man: Homecoming showed Zendaya not being entirely dissimilar from Ally Sheedy’s character, the awkward, strange outcast Allison. What happens to Allison at the end of The Breakfast Club? She comes out of her shell a bit, changes her style, and sparks a romance with the jock Andrew (Emilio Estevez). That kind of thing could easily happen with Zendaya as Mary Jane.
For now, we’ll just have to wait and see what happens in Spider-Man: Homecoming, but hopefully a trailer will clear things up a bit whenever we finally get one.
Header image: The Hollywood Reporter videoCool Posts From Around the Web: