Kevin Feige Clears Up Whether Zendaya Is Mary Jane in 'Spider-Man: Homecoming'

Monday, 10 July 2017 - 11:22AM
Marvel
Spider-Man
Spider-Man: Homecoming
Yes
Monday, 10 July 2017 - 11:22AM
Kevin Feige Clears Up Whether Zendaya Is Mary Jane in 'Spider-Man: Homecoming'
Image credit: Sony Pictures, Marvel Studios
Apparently, this issue isn't going away anytime soon. People are still debating whether Zendaya is playing Mary Jane, and with good reason. Here's a spoiler warning for the rest of the article—if you don't want the end of Spider-Man: Homecoming ruined, maybe read another article, such as our review of the film.



Following months of everyone at Marvel insisting that Zendaya does not play Peter Parker's most famous (and least canonically dead) love interest, Mary Jane Watson, fans are up in arms because of what has quickly become the movie's most controversial tease: towards the end of the movie, "Michelle" reveals that actually, she prefers to be called MJ—the nickname that Mary Jane goes by in the comics and the Sam Raimi trilogy.

According to Kevin Feige, this little nod wasn't meant to cause as much controversy as it has; it's just a quick gag for fans of the comics:

Opening quote
Well, 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. 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.
Closing quote


Nice try, Kevin Feige.

It's hard to imagine, considering the enormous furor that the Mary Jane question kicked off last year, that Marvel could possibly have imagined that this reveal wouldn't drive fans nuts—especially because this quick bait-and-switch comes in such an ambiguous form. Nobody was all that pleased when Christopher Nolan jammed a similar twist into The Dark Knight Rises by revealing that, surprise, Joseph Gordon-Levitt was Robin all along. The MJ tease, with its half-hearted lack of commitment, feels even worse.

Spider-Man: Homecoming is in theaters now. You can read our review here.
Science Fiction
Comic Book Movies
Marvel
Spider-Man
Spider-Man: Homecoming
No
Yes