Be warned, True Believers! SPOILERS AHEAD!!!
If you haven’t yet seen Spider-Man: Homecoming, you do not want to continue reading this. Go check out the flick and return here as soon as possible because the producers responsible for the massive hit have finally commented on the long-speculated rumor about the character portrayed by Zendaya. At the conclusion of the film, the students involved in the academic decathlon are gathered around to hear that Michelle, Zendaya’s character, will be taking over as the group’s leader. She will only acquiesce if her new friends simply call her…
…M.J. and the fans went nuts. Anyone who has a passing knowledge of Spider-Man comics, movies, cartoons, lunchboxes, or anything else the world has seen in the previous five-plus decades knows that M.J., short for Mary Jane Watson, is Peter Parker’s longtime love interest. Given that knowledge, fans were left wondering if Michelle/M.J., will become Peter’s love interest moving forward.
In an interview with IGN, Marvel’s Kevin Feige alongside Sony’s Amy Pascal discussed Zendaya’s character after the film premiered. When pressed about the twist, the producers admitted that it was more of an homage:
“We never even looked at it as a big reveal necessarily but more of just a fun homage to his past adventures and his past love. She’s not Mary Jane Watson. She never was Mary Jane Watson. She was always this new high school character, Michelle, who we know there’s an “M” in Michelle and an “M” in Mary. [laughs] So we’re so clever and we thought, “Wouldn’t it be neat if her initials were MJ?” And then I think it leaked that she would be playing MJ and then it became a whole headache for Zendaya to have to navigate,” Feige revealed. “It was never a big, “Oh my God, it’s a big reveal!” There are big reveals in the movie. That’s not one of them.”
“She is not going to end as being Mary Jane Watson,” Pascal added, confirming Michelle is a character in her own right.
“She’s not Mary-Jane Watson,” Feige said before tacking on, “Is she going to date Peter? Are they going to fall in love? She seems to be intrigued with him. There’s a nice chemistry there. Who knows what will happen in the future films?”
With this confirmation, Zendaya’s rumored role as Mary Jane is finally put to rest alongside all of the public reaction to that news. In many ways, this new take on Spider-Man carries a lot of homages while tweaking many of the characters we have all come to know and love. That’s not necessarily a bad thing either. With five previous films having explored aspects of the characters somewhat closer to their original incarnations, the web-slinger needed some new twists, turns, and modifications.
Sony and Marvel are clearly doing something right since their new take on our Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man is raking in the gold and currently holds a 93 per cent rating on Rotten Tomatoes. With Spider-Man finally swinging into the Marvel Cinematic Universe following his amazing debut in Captain America: Civil War last year, things are certainly looking up for Spider-Man and his amazing fans.
Spider-Man: Homecoming is currently in theatres everywhere.