Tom Holland, starring as Peter Parker / Spider-Man in Marvel Studios’ Spider-Man: Homecoming, posted a cheeky photo to Instagram directed at co-star Zendaya.
“The struggle of doing press with Zendaya,” the caption reads. Zendaya, who portrays Peter Parker’s sullen, debate team captain classmate Michelle (or “MJ,” as her friends call her), has been a large focus of the film’s marketing, especially when aimed at younger viewers.
Holland and Zendaya have been a driving force of the film’s global press tour, with the stars co-hosting a Spider-Man: Homecoming behind-the-scenes special aired on the Disney Channel as well as having faced off in mortal combat on Lip Sync Battle.
The co-stars have also been rumored to be dating. "Wait wait...my favorite is when it says we go on vacations together HA! I haven't been on a vacation in years," Zendaya shared to Twitter in response to a story claiming the stars are a couple. "[How bout you] @TomHolland1996 ???"
Wait wait...my favorite is when it says we go on vacations together HA! I haven't been on a vacation in years!😂😭🤣hbu @TomHolland1996 ??? https://t.co/zSkvcfzzTa— Zendaya (@Zendaya) July 13, 2017
“Does the press tour count?” Holland replied.
“I’m done,” Zendaya joked.
Zendaya’s Michelle was an intriguing character despite her limited screen time, and will clearly be a big part of Peter Parker’s life moving forward, whether or not she’s “the” Mary Jane Watson.
“In setting up this will be a very different thing, she’s not Mary Jane Watson, that’s not who the character is,” shared Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige on Michelle’s initials, which are famously associated with Peter Parker’s longtime comic book love. “But giving her the initials that remind you of that dynamic certainly is intriguing about what could go forward.”
“We never even looked at it as a big reveal necessarily but more of just a fun homage to his past adventures and his past love. She's not Mary Jane Watson. She never was Mary Jane Watson. She was always this new high school character, Michelle, who we know there's an 'M' in Michelle and an 'M' in Mary,” Feige explained separately. “So we're so clever and we thought, 'Wouldn't it be neat if her initials were MJ?' And then I think it leaked that she would be playing MJ and then it became a whole headache for Zendaya to have to navigate,” Feige revealed. “It was never a big, 'Oh my God, it's a big reveal!' There are big reveals in the movie. That's not one of them.”
“She's not Mary-Jane Watson,” Feige declared. “Is she going to date Peter? Are they going to fall in love? She seems to be intrigued with him. There's a nice chemistry there. Who knows what will happen in the future films?”
“My character is 100 percent Michelle,” Zendaya told MTV. “That’s her name. I promise you I’m not lying.”
Zendaya and Holland have an apparent chemistry onscreen as well as in real life, and the fan-favorite character has proved popular enough that audiences can expect to see even more of Michelle moving forward. Expect much of the Spider-Man: Homecoming cast to reprise their roles in the next solo Spider-Man adventure, in theaters July 5th, 2019.