If you have yet to watch Spider-Man: Homecoming, click away now.
Spider-Man: Homecoming has delighted audiences and critics alike with its light-hearted and fun portrayal of Peter Parker like we’ve never seen before. In doing so, it’s worth pointing out, that Marvel took a lot of risks. Not only did they cast a teenage Spider-Man but they grounded his story with high school, and friends that we haven’t seen on-screen before. That included a reimagining of Flash from the jock bully to a classmate rival, a love interest from Mary Jane/Gwen Stacy to Liz Allen and his best friend Ned, a gamer, geek and a Spider-Man superfan of sorts.
However, the one character that kept the fans guessing all the way through filming, marketing, and its release is Zendaya’s Michelle. What we found out in the final minutes of the movie was Michelle told her new-found friends to call her “MJ” but what did that mean? Is she suddenly Mary Jane Watson or is it short for Michelle Jones?
Den of Geek sat down with Kevin Feige to discuss Zendaya’s role in the MCU and the Homecoming sequel. Feige was clear on noting that Zendaya will not be playing Mary Jane but an “MJ” of a different name and the initials were used to remind the viewer of that dynamic.
“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.”
Michelle’s role is actually rather small but she is present throughout the movie. She keeps an eye on Peter Parker, which many have noted, is similar to MJ who has done the same in the comics so they’re certainly drawing inspiration from MJ’s character but to what extent, Feige says:
Clearly, she says she’s not obsessed with him, she’s just observant. But she’s there. And to have fun with that while at the same time having it be different characters that can provide a different dynamic [is the point].
Feige continues on to say that the logic behind this was to take Peter Parker in a fresh direction and to avoid treading tired ground of previous Peter Parker and Spider-Man relationships:
“Peter’s had a lot of friends over the years in the comics, and a lot of schoolmates and characters he’s interacted with. It wasn’t just Mary Jane Watson; it wasn’t just Gwen Stacy; it wasn’t just Harry Osborn. So we were very interested in the other characters, and that’s where Liz came from and that’s where the version of the character Michelle came from.”
What kind of role do you think Zendaya’s Michelle will be playing moving forward?
Source: Den of Geek
Spider-Man: Homecoming is cinemas right now!