Zendaya and Jacob Batalon are back as Michelle and Ned, respectively, as revealed by a new set photo from Spider-Man: Far From Home. Principal photography on the sequel started earlier this month in England, with Spider-Man: Homecoming director Jon Watts back at the helm, and Tom Holland reprising his role as the titular web-slinging hero. Not much is known regarding specific story details yet, but Peter's latest solo adventure will reportedly pit him against a new nemesis: Mysterio.
Set after the events of Avengers 4, Far From Home is poised to open the MCU's mysterious Phase 4, and will deal with the aftermath of Thanos' galactic genocide in Avengers: Infinity War. As fans know, Peter (alongside a slew of other heroes) was part of the unfortunate half of the universe that disintegrated into dust following the Mad Titan's deadly snap. While it's still unclear how he will be resurrected, he's obviously expected to be brought back one way or another before the end of next year's Phase 3 capper.
Zendaya's recent Instagram Story (via CBR) confirms that both she and Jacob Batalon are back on the set of Far From Home, reprising their roles as Peter's high school pals, Michelle "MJ" Jones and Ned Leeds, respectively. Not much can be deciphered from the post, given that it appears to have been taken while they were hanging out between takes. Still, it's interesting to see Ned sporting a Deadpool shirt, in a nice Marvel nod.
Last time fans saw Ned, he was on the same school bus as Peter before Cull Obsidian and Ebony Maw wreaked havoc in New York at the start of Infinity War. It's currently unknown whether he survived Thanos' galactic purge, as the Russos didn't confirm his fate when asked about the MCU characters who were snuffed out of existence off-screen. Michelle's current status is a bit trickier to ascertain, considering that fans haven't seen her since the final moments of Homecoming, which was set shortly after Civil War.
Having said that, considering that Far From Home is filming on location across the pond, one wonders if they're all vacationing in England, or if they're together due to a summer program that they're partaking in. Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige previously shared that Peter is spending his summer vacation around Europe, so perhaps it's the former, but it's also not outside the realm of possibility that they may have signed-up for an all-expenses-paid short-term course overseas. After all, Homecoming established that Aunt May is by no means well-off financially, so she might not have the means to fund a straight-up summer vacation for Peter and his friends abroad.
As the cameras roll for Spider-Man: Far From Home, casting for the sequel also continues. The latest addition to the cast is JB Smoove in an undisclosed role. Meanwhile, there's no word as of yet with regard to the actor playing Mysterio, as Jake Gyllenhaal is still unconfirmed for the role, despite prior reports that he'd signed on for the project.
Source: Zendaya (via CBR)
- Captain Marvel (2019) release date: Mar 08, 2019
- The Avengers 4 / Avengers: Endgame (2019) release date: Apr 26, 2019
- Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 02, 2019