When it comes to Spider-Man, fans have plenty of unsolved mysteries to tackle. Who killed Uncle Ben? How does Peter Parker shimmy into his tight tactical suit? And, most importantly, is Zendaya playing Mary Jane Watson in Spider-Man: Homecoming? Rumors have been swirling for awhile now that the young actress had nabbed the iconic role, but Zendaya has done her best to knock fans off that trail of thought. And, now, she is flat-out denying that she’s playing Mary Jane.
In a recent interview with Entertainment Tonight, the actress told a reporter, “I’m not Mary Jane unfortunately, but I am in the movie which is exciting.”
When the interviewer asked, “Wait, you’re not Mary Jane,” Zendaya said, “No.”
“My character’s name is Michelle,” the actress insisted. However, her straight-faced delivery was dampened shortly after her plea. Zendaya can be seen winking over-dramatically at the camera, so fans are not quiet sure whether they should believe her claim.
Whether her character is a version of Mary Jane or not, it is clear that Zendaya enjoyed being a part of the film.
“It’s incredible, you know? It’s such a huge project to be part of,” she gushed when asked about filming. “I mean, who could pick a better thing to be your first movie? Like, I’m speechless. If I could pick a movie, it would be Spider-Man, so I got it.”
Rumors about Zendaya’s connection to Mary Jane began to circulate after a report by The Wrap surfaced online. The site claimed the actress had nabbed a ‘key’ role in the film and that it was none other than Peter Parker’s famous love interest.
After the report went live, fans everywhere began to scrutinize Homecoming for hints about Mary Jane’s presence. Most fans were pleased with the alleged casting, but there were those who questioned whether Zendaya could pull off the role. However, plenty of Marvel affiliates like Stan Lee came to her defense and said the actress could bring something special to Mary Jane.
Director James Gunn commented on the casting debacle and said Zendaya’s race should not preclude her from playing Mary Jane. "For me, if a character's primary attribute -- the thing that makes them iconic -- is the color of their skin, or their hair color, frankly, that character is shallow and sucks," Gunn wrote on Facebook. "For me, what makes MJ MJ is her alpha female playfulness, and if the actress captures that, then she'll work. And, for the record, I think Zendaya even matches what I think of as MJ's primary physical characteristics - she's a tall, thin model - much more so than actresses have in the past."
Zendaya has commented on the debate as well and said she was having fun watching fans play a guessing game. However, she did stress that her character was not a romantic one for Tom Holland’s Peter Parker.
"My character is not romantic," Zendaya revealed. "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. I like that.”
So, what do you think? Do you believe Zendaya is trying to throw fans off? Or is she really not involved with Mary Jane at all? Let us know what you think in the comments below!
Spider-Man: Homecoming will swing into theaters on July 7, 2017.