“I do not believe a character is the color of his or her skin,” James Gunn wrote on Facebook. Some criticized casting Zendaya as Mary Jane Watson in the film to be directed by Jon Watts because of her race.
Spoiler alert: Don’t read on if you don’t want to know details about Zendaya’s role in “Spider-Man: Homecoming.”
At least one recent draft of the script has Zendaya’s character dropping several clues to her identity as Mary Jane, one of the most familiar love interests in the Marvel superhero’s universe — and played by Kirsten Dunst in Sam Raimi‘s 2002-07 movie trilogy starring Tobey Maguire as the webslinger.
Zendaya, the star of the Disney Channel series “Shake It Up!” and “K.C. Undercover,” was cast back in March to play a “key role” as a character named Michelle.
At the time, no further details were provided about her character or whether it would the romantic lead opposite Holland — who made a sensational big-screen debut as Spidey earlier this year in Disney/Marvel’s “Captain America: Civil War.”
Given how secretive superhero movie castings can sometimes be, pseudonyms are often used. Marion Cotillard‘s role in “The Dark Knight Rises” comes to mind.
Sony declined to comment. Representatives for Marvel and Zendaya did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment.
Sony and Marvel have made it clear that director Jon Watts’ reboot — with a script by Jonathan Goldstein & John Francis Daley and Jon Watts & Christopher Ford and Chris McKenna & Erik Sommers — will focus on a high school-aged Peter Parker.
The cast also includes Michael Keaton, Donald Glover, Jacob Batalon, Laura Harrier, Tony Revolori, Tyne Daly, Bokeem Woodbine, Marisa Tomei and Robert Downey Jr.
“Spider-Man: Homecoming,” produced by Produced by Amy Pascal andKevin Feige, will be released on July 7, 2017.
Zendaya is repped by CAA and Monster Talent Management.