For all of the complaints leveled at the last two Spider-Man movies, vocal fans really do want to see some staples of the franchise brought back, in some fashion, in Spider-Man: Homecoming. The first Marvel Studios movie made in partnership with Sony, Spider-Man: Homecoming casts Tom Holland as Peter Parker, Michael Keaton as The Vulture, and Zendaya as... well, many think Mary Jane Watson, in a twist reveal. Only, the actress has been identified as "Michelle" in all press material leading up the July 2017 blockbuster, and the way that she describes her character sounds nothing like MJ. Zendaya recently said:
My character is not romantic. 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. And I also like that I don't really have to do anything for hair and makeup. I just get to walk in and walk out.
That last reference, given to THR, will make sense to any fan lucky enough to see the video that Marvel brought to San Diego Comic-Con to screen during the Hall H panel for Spider-Man: Homecoming. Set to Joan Jett's "Bad Reputation," the footage hopped and skipped around Peter Parker's (Tom Holland) high school day, following him into different classes where he either watched highlights of Spidey's Civil War fight on YouTube or tried to perfect his signature webbing in Chemistry class. But the footage concluded with Zendaya's character, half-asleep on a stack of books. Her hair is crazy frizzy. She's got no makeup on. She doesn't look like this.
And she also doesn't look anything like Mary Jane Watson from the comics.
Not that she has to. But even the way that Zendaya describes her character, as a book-smart intellect who's lightyears ahead of her peers, that wouldn't BE Mary Jane... unless Spider-Man: Homecoming completely changes the characteristics of Peter's love interest (to make her NOT a love interest at all). Zendaya says in the quote that her character is not romantic. Maybe she is JUST Michelle, a classmate of Peter who evolves into something. But it'd be the first time an on-screen Spider-Man movie didn't revolve around Mary Jane (Kirsten Dunst) or attempt to introduce her (Shailene Woodley) since the Web slinger has been swinging on the big screen.
Spider-Man: Homecoming opens in theaters on July 7, 2017. Who do you think Zendaya is playing? Michelle? Or a covert MJ? Weigh in below.