Warning: There are spoilers for Spider-Man: Homecoming in this post…
Although Zendaya has stated multiple times in promotional interviews that her character in Spider-Man: Homecoming is not a new take on Peter Parker’s popular red-headed girlfriend Mary Jane Watson, audiences certainly found themselves questioning the validity of those remarks during a scene toward the end where the character calls herself MJ.
Thankfully, head honcho of the MCU Kevin Feige has addressed all of the speculation surrounding who Zendaya is really playing, stating to Den of Geek that: “In setting up this will be a very different thing, she’s not Mary Jane Watson, that’s not who the character is. But giving her the initials that remind you of that dynamic certainly is intriguing about what could go forward.”
So, presumably that means while Michelle isn’t exactly Mary Jane, she could still fulfil the same role in the franchise moving forward. So does that also mean no actual Mary Jane Watson in the MCU?
A young Peter Parker/Spider-Man (Tom Holland), who made his sensational debut in Captain America: Civil War, begins to navigate his newfound identity as the web-slinging super hero in Spider-Man: Homecoming. Thrilled by his experience with the Avengers, Peter returns home, where he lives with his Aunt May (Marisa Tomei), under the watchful eye of his new mentor Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.). Peter tries to fall back into his normal daily routine – distracted by thoughts of proving himself to be more than just your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man – but when the Vulture (Michael Keaton) emerges as a new villain, everything that Peter holds most important will be threatened.
Spider-Man: Homecoming sees Tom Holland and Marisa Tomei reprising their roles from Captain America: Civil War as Peter Parker/Spider-Man and Aunt May, alongside Marvel veterans Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark, Jon Favreau as Happy Hogan, Gwyneth Paltrow as Pepper Potts and Chris Evans as Captain America. New additions to the cast include Michael Keaton, Zendaya, Donald Glover, Jacob Batalon, Laura Harrier, Tony Revolori, Bokeem Woodbine, Tyne Daly, Michael Barbieri, Abraham Attah, Hannibal Buress, Kenneth Choi, Angourie Rice, Michael Chernus, Michael Mando, Logan Marshall-Green and Jennifer Connelly.