Marvel Studios and Sony are currently hard at work filming their first team up project, Spider-Man: Homecoming, which will mark the first solo movie for Spider-Man set within the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Following his debut in Captain America: Civil War, audiences were reinvigorated with excitement for the future of the beloved character. This time around, Peter Parker (Tom Holland) will be spending most of his time in high school, and with the homecoming dance featured in the movie, he will need someone to go with.
When Zendaya was initially cast in the movie, who she was playing remained a secret, but it was revealed that she was scheduled to be the love interest. If the latest report is to be true, she will be one of Peter Parker's most recognizable love interests from the comics.
The Wrap is reporting that Zendaya is not playing a character named Michelle as initially reported, but instead is actually playing Mary Jane Watson. Zendaya does not have the traditional redheaded look of MJ in the comics, and set photos indicate that the look will be a new take on the character.
Both studios have so far done a very good job at differentiating this film from the previous two attempts at a franchise. For instance, they are using a villain, Vulture, that has never appeared on screen, and they're keeping Peter in high school, which has only been a brief focus in past installments. Having Zendaya play MJ would be the biggest reinterpretation of a character we have seen previously in the movies, but it is hard to have Peter Parker without including Mary Jane.
Previously, director Jon Watts has discussed the need to diversify Queens within the MCU to reflect the real world look of the city, and casting Zendaya as a typically white character is certainly one way of accomplishing that goal. Even though this is not going to be the traditional look of the character, such as how Kirsten Dunst portrayed her in Spider-Man, there is no reason that this should be looked upon with negativity. Zendaya may not look like MJ has looked for the past 50 years in comics, but she will likely embody the spirit of the character, and that is all that should really matter.
Doctor Strange opens November 4, 2016; Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 – May 5, 2017; Spider-Man: Homecoming– July 7, 2017; Thor: Ragnarok – November 3, 2017; Black Panther – February 16, 2018;Avengers: Infinity War – May 4, 2018; Ant-Man and the Wasp – July 6, 2018; Captain Marvel– March 8, 2019; Untitled Avengers – May 3, 2019; and as-yet untitled Marvel movies on July 12, 2019, and on May 1, July 10, and November 6 in 2020.
Source: The Wrap