Deadline is reporting that Zendaya has landed a“key role” in the 2017Spider-Man reboot, as a character who is currently being referred to as “Michelle”. However, it’s already being speculated that Zendaya – who also played a recurring role on the Disney Channel seriesShake It Up! and has made one-off appearances on such TV shows as Black-ish, in addition to having appeared in Taylor Swift’s “Bad Blood” music video – could be playing a well-known character in the Spider-Man mythology and that “Michelle” is just a misnomer. On the other hand, it’s plausible that Zendaya will be playing a tweaked version of the Marvel Comics character Michele Gonzales, a criminal defense lawyer who was Peter Parker’s roommate at one point in theAmazing Spider-Man comics (and who had a somewhat infamous one-night stand with Spidey).
THR‘s Borys Kit is reporting that Marvel Studios and Sony Pictures (which are now sharing the Spider-Man franchise film rights) have been “looking to go heavily non-white with the SPIDER-MAN supporting cast.” Some will recall that there was a fan push for Miles Morales to be the version of Spider-Man featured in the MCU, in particular after rumors began to circulate that Marvel Studios waslooking to cast a non-white actor to play the webslinger in Civil Warand the 2017 movie reboot. While that ultimately didn’t happen, it would still make sense for Marvel to push for the Spider-Man reboot to feature a “heavily non-white” supporting cast, as part of the studio’s general initiative to diversify its character roster on the film side of the MCU (see also projects like Black Panther and Captain Marvel being part of the Phase 3 movie slate).
This could mean that Zendaya is playing Mary Jane Watson, Gwen Stacy, or another female character of significance to the Spider-Manfranchise (see also: Felicia Hardy a.k.a. Black Cat) in the 2017 movie reboot. Peter Parker’s various love interests have all been white in the previous live-action movies featuring the web-head, so this would be one way to help better distinguish the 2017 Spider-Man film from its predecessors. It would be an appropriate move too, seeing as their race has never been a defining element for Peter Parker’s most famous love interests – something that isn’t always true for Marvel Comics characters (see the recent discussion surrounding the casting of Daniel Rand/Iron Fist). On the other hand, Mary Jane Watson is so well-known for her pale-skinned/red-haired appearance that it suggests Zendaya is more likely playing a different Spider-Man love interest – one who would cause less of a ruckus were they to be “race-swapped,” that is (see Felicia Hardy, for example).
With all that being said, it’s worth re-emphasizing: Zendaya’s role in the Spider-Man reboot is open to speculation for the time being, as she could just as well be a “tweaked” version of the Michele Gonzales character (Zendaya herself is biracial) as she could be a different version of Felicia Hardy or someone else altogether. Either way, her casting in the movie further signals that Marvel and Sony are taking steps to distinguish the latest big screen iteration of theSpider-Man movie series from its predecessors (the Sam Raimi-helmed trilogy and the Amazing Spider-Man movies), in more ways than one………our question is……HOW MANY FUCKING TIMES ARE THEY GONNA REBOOT FUCKING SPIDERMAN WIT THE SAME DAMN STORY! UGH TIRED OF IT.