‘SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING’ Cast & Crew Talk Zendaya’s Role
After the announcement was made that Zendaya had joined Marvel’s highly anticipated reboot, SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING, many fans were not so keen into the pick because her character was only called Michelle. However, rumors started that she was playing none other than Mary Jane Watson.
What can be told? Producer Eric Carroll said to Comingsoon:
“I can tell you that Zendaya is playing a character named Michelle, and that I promised you when the movie comes out her name is Michelle.”
What about director Jon Watts?
“They’re usually wrong, so it’s really fun to watch people respond to all these incorrect rumors and reveal a lot of other things that they think might be going on. (laughs) It’s like being a magician because you’re like, ‘Nah, nah, nope. Oh? Close! Nope, wrong again.’ Then every once in a while someone will have a crazy theory or a weird idea and then you’re like, ‘Oh, that’s pretty cool. Can we do that? Is it too late? Can we figure out a way to write that in?’ I love it.”
Leading star Tom Holland himself also talked about the “controversy” that started and how Zendaya wouldn’t let it affect her.
“This whole, you can’t cast someone who’s not of the right race for a character and such, I really feel like we’re breaking through and changing that. And Z is perfect. She’s so strong willed, it’s not going to shake her at all.”
Holland also described Michelle and her relationship with Peter and the other kids.
“Michelle is a very interesting character. We’ll be doing a scene with all of the other cast members, and then she’ll sort of pitch in and we’ll be like, ‘That was a strange thing to say’, and then we’ll continue on with our dialogue. It’s a very fun character, and Z has really brought a lot of herself to the character.”
Watts also spoke about what makes the character so fun to him.
“I always thought of her as being a version of Ally Sheedy in THE BREAKFAST CLUB, what Linda Cardellini is like in FREAKS AND GEEKS, it’s just a cool character and it’s cool for her to be that character. She has a really cool wardrobe, really funny, lots of literary nods. I like the idea that she’s a real reader and bookish. She always has a big pile of books she’s carrying around, which I picked and obsessed over.”
According to Holland, one of the book is “How to Murder Someone without No One Knowing”. Something that Watts has disputed.
Casting Zendaya, one of the biggest stars to a younger generation was amusing through a behind-the-scenes point of view. Producer Amy Pascal (former head of Sony Pictures) revealed that she and Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige hadn’t heard of her.
“When Kevin and I looked at her screen test… Oh god, maybe I can’t say this… we didn’t know who she was! There was this girl, she was the most gorgeous thing I’ve ever seen and we were like looking at it and she was so fine and so smart and savvy and poised and she had no make-up on… and we just looked at it after we shot it and we were like, ‘She’s really fine’, and they were like, ‘She’s really famous.’ But she’s been blowing us away every day.”
“I knew of her, but I knew that she was on K.C. UNDERCOVER. It was funny because then you Google her and you see she’s a cover girl and is so glamorous. She just came in and read on tape for just whoever because we were doing open readings, and she was so different than what I think anyone expected and was just really down to Earth and really relatable.”
After seeing her audition, Watts knew that she had to be in the movie.
Spider-Man: Homecoming hits theaters on July 7.