Back in March, Disney Channel actress Zendaya was added to the cast of Spider-Man: Homecoming in a role that was vaguely identified as a potential female lead named “Michelle.” However, a new, unofficial report indicates that the teenage actress is actually playing a far more familiar character in the upcoming reboot of the Spider-Man franchise.
At this point, a spoiler warning is probably necessary for anyone averse to learning what the studio might not want fans to know at this point in the film’s production cycle. Read on at your own peril.
According to The Wrap, the report connecting the Shake It Up! and K.C. Undercover actress to a character named Michelle was actually a feint of sorts, and she’ll actually portray Mary Jane Watson in the film — the same character played by Kirsten Dunst in the original Spider-Man movie trilogy.
The movie news outlet attributes the casting information to “two individuals with knowledge of the project,” so nothing is confirmed at this point and the news should definitely be filed as a rumor until there’s official word on her role. However, that shouldn’t stop anyone from speculating about what that casting could mean for the film.
As any longtime Spider-Man fan can attest, Mary Jane Watson wasn’t the first girl Peter Parker fell for, and didn’t make her first full appearance in the comic book series until after Peter had graduated from high school and had already spent years moonlighting as a costumed superhero. She was referenced early on in the comics, though, with Peter’s Aunt May frequently attempting to set Peter up on a date with her, and Peter dodging the meeting for years.
Mary Jane was famously made her first full appearance in a 1966 issue of The Amazing Spider-Man, greeting Peter with what has become one of the most frequently quoted lines in comic-book history: “Face it, Tiger … You just hit the jackpot!”
Along with the casting rumor connecting Zendaya to the role of Mary Jane Watson, a recent Instagram story post from the floor of fashion trade show Magic Las Vegas has apparently revealed the first look at the poster for Homecoming. You can view a screenshot of the poster (also via The Wrap) below:
Directed by Jon Watts, Spider-Man: Homecoming hits theaters July 7, 2017.