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Zendaya on Mary Jane Rumors: Her Character is “Not Romantic”

Here we go again.

Following a lull in recent months with regards to Spider-Man: Homecoming news, the wheels are in motion again, and we’re probably looking at a non-stop rollercoaster of news, rumors, and speculation, until the movie finally released in July of next year, by which point we’ll all probably be sick of the whole thing.

When last the internet buzzed with Spidey news, filming on the movie was wrapping up with many unanswered questions still circulating about what characters various actors are playing.

Recently, news broke that Michael Keaton is, as rumored, playing The Vulture. Now, though, Zendaya has come out and explicitly rejected claims that she’s secretly playing Peter Parker’s primary love interest, widely believed to be Mary Jane Watson.

“People are going to react over anything.  But nothing [about my role] is fact. It’s like, you guys are just making s*** up at this point and then reacting to it.”

Truer words have probably never been spoken about comic book movie news.

Zendaya went on to explain that the movie’s shoot used a series of fake character sheets, just to throw off journalists—hence why the internet exploded after one was photographed that showed Zendaya playing Mary Jane.

“Whenever we were on set, one of us gets some random character name [on the call sheet]. [Bloggers were] like, 'Oh they must be so and so.' And we just crack up about it, because it’s like, 'Whatever you want to think. You’ll find out.' It’s funny to watch the guessing game.”

Well, fair enough—that is one possible explanation of the origin of the Mary Jane rumors. It doesn’t make a lot of sense (why would the call sheets even list names if they weren’t going to mean anything, and why use a fake name when Zendaya’s character name, “Michelle”, is already public knowledge?), but it is at least some form of explanation.


Zendaya even went further, saying that her character can hardly be described as a love interest for Tom Holland’s Peter Parker.

“My character is not romantic.  My character is like very dry, awkward, intellectual and because she’s so smart, she just feels like she doesn’t need to talk to people, like 'My brain is so far ahead of you that you’re just not really on my level.' So she comes off very weird. But to me, she is very cool because she’s deep. She’s always thinking about something, always reading.”

Well that certainly doesn’t sound like the traditional portrayal of Mary Jane Watson. In the comics, she’s always been a glamorous, beautiful, outgoing firecracker who thrives in social situations and gets along with everybody.

So, case closed, right?

Except, there was that one time that Mary Jane was less than a stellar socialite.


By “that one time”, I mean a run of comics that lasted for well over a decade—in Ultimate Spider-Man, Mary Jane is a high school friend of Peter’s who’s awkward, nerdy, and extremely intelligent.

It’s worth noting that Zendaya doesn’t explicitly state that she isn’t playing Mary Jane. It could well be that the new version of the story will take more than a little inspiration from Brian Michael Bendis’ take on the popular character.

Meanwhile, in other news, Tom Holland revealed exactly how many movies he’s been contracted for, following speculation that he might not show up in Infinity War.

Said Holland:

“They give you options, and those could be exercised whenever. Like a cameo in Avengers. I'm unclear as to which movies, though. I do know I have three Spider-Man movies and three solo movies contracted.”

So, wait? Three Spider-Man movies, and three “solo movies”? What is a solo movie, if not a Spider-Man movie?

Is Tom Holland guaranteed to make appearances in three non-Avengers films, in a similar way to his Civil War appearance? It’s kind of hard to tell the difference between a solo movie and a team-up movie with Marvel at this point.

Maybe Holland literally means a solo movie in which he’s all alone. Maybe he means a movie that’s secretly a two-hour commercial for those plastic red cups that appear in every college movie.

That must be it—Tom Holland is the new spokesman for solo cups.

Unless, of course, I’m just making stuff up, then reacting to it. But when has anyone ever accused entertainment journalists of doing that?

Matthew loffhagen

Matthew Loffhagen

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