When Disney Channel star Zendaya (above) was confirmed for the Spider-Man: Homecoming cast back in March, we wondered which character she might be portraying. Rumors at the time suggested that she might be playing a new character named Michelle, rather than previously established characters such as Mary Jane Watson or Gwen Stacy.
More recently, director Jon Watts (Cop Car, Clown) identified the roles five young actors would be playing in the movie. According to Watts, Zendadya had been cast as Michele; who many speculated was Michele Gonzales, a Marvel comic book character who roomed with Peter Parker for a while and later became a love interest.
Now, however, a new report in The Wrap claims that Zendaya will instead be playing Mary Jane Watson. In the Marvel comic books, Mary Jane was a "class clown and party animal" who first got to know Peter Parker during their high school years.Their romantic relationship did not begin until after high school.
In the movies, things have been a bit different. Kirsten Dunst played Mary Jane in Sam Raimi's trilogy of films; her relationship with Peter Parker progressed from a crush to romance to breakup and back again. In director Marc Webb's two films, Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone) was the object of Peter's affection; Shailene Woodley filmed a few brief scenes as Mary Jane for The Amazing Spider-Man 2, but they were cut before the movie was released.
If the report proves true, we'll still have to wait for the movie to come out to learn the nature of the relationship between Peter Parker and Mary Jane Watson. Are they just friends, or something more?
However things work out between the characters on the big screen, in real life we have evidence that the actor portraying Peter Parker is one of the good guys. Recently, Tom Holland, who is starring as Peter and his superhero alter ego Spider-Man, made an appearance at a children's hospital in Atlanta to encourage some of the patients and then shared a photo of his experience on social media.
Meeting you all today was such a wonderful experience and you're all such little inspirations. We're proud of you and we love and we hope to be back soon ?? and thank you for having us Egleston Children's hospital.
Spider-Man: Homecoming will sling into theaters on July 7, 2017.