It seems like it was only yesterday (two years ago, actually) that we were mourning the death of Gwen Stacy in the Spider-Man reboot sequel (Andrew and Emma 5eva!). But if there's one factor shaking things up in yet another Spider-Man reboot out next year, it's the casting of the two lead roles. We're already sold on Tom Holland's springy, fast-talking Peter Parker who made his debut in Captain America: Civil War, and now it seems like Zendaya (of Shake It Up fame and black girl magic realness) will be playing Mary Jane Watson, Peter's OTL. Casting the biracial actress as the iconic character is a cool, progressive choice but one that Marvel or Zendaya has yet to confirm, as of press time.
It all started with The Wrap reporting that "at least one recent draft of the script has Zendaya's character dropping several clues to her identity as Mary Jane," despite the official, ambiguous announcement that Zendaya will be playing a character called Michelle. Vulture cites their own sources, saying that "Michelle's real identity was a twist meant to be confirmed near the end of the film when she would finally invite Peter to call her 'MJ.'" Sneaky! How cool would it have been to be surprised with that twist? Now that we know it's coming—if these reports prove to be true—we're all the more psyched to watch Spider-Man: Homecoming and see how they handle this major leak.
While there are some who insist that Zendaya can't possibly play MJ, it's important to note that it’s already 2016 (hi, hello, what’s up) and that the MJ from the comic books is not defined by her white skin or red hair, but by her independent, fiery spirit strengthened by a tragic past and a burning desire to achieve her goals. As Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn says, "What makes MJ MJ is her alpha female playfulness, and if the actress captures that, then she'll work." We have no doubt that the smart, outspoken, talented Zendaya will crush it.
The internet is already celebrating this yet-to-be-confirmed casting choice and here are some highlights from the Twitter party being thrown in Zendaya's honor.
What do you think of Zendaya playing MJ? Tell us in the comments section below!