Zendaya Thought She Was Going To Have To Fight For Her ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ Role

When Zendaya was first announced as joining the cast of ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’, it was believed that she would be playing a radically different take on Mary Jane Watson.  It turned out that her character’s name was Michelle Jones, but as she declared at the end of the movie, “My friends call me M.J.”  But it seems that M.J. was originally conceived as a role closer to Mary Jane in the comics.

Brooklyn native Jon Watts, who directed ‘Homecoming’ and the now-shooting sequel ‘Far From Home’, wanted Peter Parker’s high school to reflect the diversity that Watts himself had seen growing up.  In the original script, M.J. was written as a Caucasian character, but as Zendaya said, when she went in to audition, Watts had already decided to “go ethnic” with that particular role.

“At first I thought I would have to [fight] because you’re kind of used to the notion that, OK, even though the character is fictional and could be anybody, they probably are going to go with the standard of what they want and what they’ve always had.  I definitely went into it like, ‘Hopefully they’ll’—as they call it in the industry—’go ethnic.’ I remember making the decision to straighten my hair. I didn’t know that they were going to be more diverse in their casting. I didn’t know that I was walking into a situation where they were already breaking the rules. You get so used to having to break the rules for people.”

Zendaya is currently in London filming ‘Far From Home’ along with Tom Holland, who plays Peter/Spider-Man and Jacob Batalon as Peter’s best friend Ned Leeds.  Tony Revolori’s Flash Thompson is also due to return, but it’s unclear if he has reported to set yet.  The new film welcomes Jake Gyllenhaal as the villain Mysterio alias Quentin Beck.  Returning from the first film are Marisa Tomei as Peter’s Aunt Man and Michael Keaton as The Vulture/Adrian Toomes.

‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’ will come home to theaters on July 5, 2019.

Source: CBR

Jason Motes

Jason’s earliest memory is of watching ‘Batman,’ followed shortly by a memory of playing Batman & Robin with a friend, which entailed running outside in just their underwear and towels as capes. When adults told them they couldn’t run around outside in their underwear, both boys promptly whipped theirs off and ran around in just capes. Jason’s father gamely agreed to read him comic books as bedtime stories instead of ‘Snow White.’ (Super Friends being his favorite.) Jason saw all of the original Star Wars movies (and Indiana Jones and Superman and Star Trek…) in the theaters. Yes, he is old. And grew up in the most GEEKTASTIC decade ever, the 80s, devouring a steady diet of GI Joe, Transformers, Masters of the Universe, Princess of Power and (best of all) Jem! (It totally counts as sci fi! They had a sentient computer that projected holograms!) Jason has studied literature, journalism, film history and has a degree in creative writing (and a minor in psychology) from the University of South Alabama. He has worked as a technical writer and proofreader. These days, most of his creative energy goes into his blog and writing for this site! He lives with the cutest puppies ever.

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