Spiderman Homecoming cast Zendaya has been reported to play Mary Jane Watson. The idea already received backlash from some fans although Marvel has yet to confirm it.
Many expressed their disappointment that the singer will be playing the red-haired character, and James Gunn came to defend Zendaya. It was previously reported that the young actress will be playing the role of Michelle. Then recent reports indicated that she will portray the iconic Mary Jane instead. The character was played by Kirsten Dunst in the original Spiderman movie trilogy.
The director of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 1 and Vol. 2 first responded to one tweet about Zendaya as MJ.
Because Mary Jane not being white is what makes a story about a guy who gets bit by a radioactive spider and receives powers unbelievable.
— Amy Ratcliffe @ SWCO (@amy_geek) August 19, 2016
If you’re complaining about the ethnicity of Mary Jane your life is too good. https://t.co/b6XDUpRQ3i
— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) August 19, 2016
Gunn then extended his views in a lengthy post on Facebook to respond to inquiries thrown his way with regards to Zendaya’s role. The director admitted that he did not know if Zendaya will be playing MJ at the time of his FB posting. He, however, stated that he would probably find out when he visited Marvel soon.
Gunn then stressed that if the color of Mary Jane’s hair is the major feature of the character, then the character is “shallow”. He added: “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.”
Gunn has been very active on social media on defending the Spiderman Homecoming cast and other Marvel casting decisions.
Zendaya will definitely play a role in Spiderman Homecoming. If she will be MJ or not, we will have to wait for official confirmation from Marvel Studios.
The Jon Watts’ movie features Tom Holland, Michael Keaton, Jacob Batalon, Laura Harrier, Tony Revolori, Tyne Daly, Bokeem Woodbine and Donald Glover. Robert Downey Jr. has earlier confirmed his appearance in Spiderman Homecoming as Tony Stark/Iron Man. Actress Marisa Tomei will also reprise her Captain America: Civil War role as Aunt Mary.