Marvel Studios Hall H PanelEarlier this year, news broke that actress and singer Zendaya would be joining the upcoming "Spider-Man" reboot flick, "Spider-Man: Homecoming," in a mysterious role. Only a handful of clues were given about the part, including that it was described as a "key" one, and her character was rumored to be named Michelle. At the time, there were conflicting reports about just how big her role would be and what it would entail, with some sites claiming she was definitively not playing a love interest, and others suggesting that the part wasn't considered a lead (though her role would expand later on in the franchise).

Now, a new report is claiming that those last few bits of intel are perhaps wrong, with Zendaya's role turning out to be much more crucial than we thought. According to TheWrap, the actress will in fact be playing none other than iconic "Spider-Man" love interest Mary Jane Watson. ("Michelle," according to the trade, was simply a decoy name for the part.)

Obviously, that role would be a huge factor in the film, since MJ was the apple of Peter Parker's eye during his high school days, and "Homecoming" is set during Spidey's formative teen years. And Zendaya's casting in the part is particularly significant, since Mary Jane is white in the comics (and was previously played by actress Kirsten Dunst in the first run of "Spider-Man" flicks from the early 2000s). If true, this colorblind casting would be a big step in the right direction for Marvel's move toward a more diverse lineup of heroes.

Neither Sony nor Marvel would comment on TheWrap's report, and the notoriously secretive producers seem unlikely to confirm this news before the flick premieres. Guess we'll have to wait a while before we know for sure just how significant Zendaya's role is.

"Spider-Man: Homecoming" swings into theaters on July 7, 2017.

[via: TheWrap]

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