Zendaya has shut down speculation that she is to play Mary Jane Watson in Spider-Man: Homecoming.
The rising Hollywood talent appears in the upcoming reboot of Marvel’s Spider-Man film franchise, which tells of Peter Parker (Tom Holland) and his struggle to balance life as a high school student with fighting crime as his web-slinging superhero alter ego.
While rumours have swirled that Zendaya is to play Mary Jane, the redhead from the comic series, the 20-year-old star has denied she’ll play the iconic character.
“I’m not Mary Jane unfortunately, but I am in the movie which is exciting,” she told Entertainment Tonight. “My character’s name is Michelle.”
Zendaya didn’t elaborate on whether her character is a version of Mary Jane. But she did talk about how much she enjoyed working on the film, which is directed by Jon Watts and also stars Michael Keaton, Donald Glover and Marisa Tomei.
“It’s incredible, you know? It’s such a huge project to be part of,” she gushed when asked about filming. “I mean, who could pick a better thing to be your first movie? Like, I’m speechless. If I could pick a movie, it would be Spider-Man, so I got it.”
Speculation about Zendaya’s connection to Mary Jane began to circulate after a report by The Wrap surfaced online. The website claimed the actress had nabbed a “key” role in the film and that it was none other than Peter’s famous love interest.
After the report went live, the majority of fans were pleased with the apparent casting, but there were those who questioned whether Zendaya could pull off the role, which was previously portrayed by Kirsten Dunst in the Sam Raimi-directed Spider-Man movies.
However, plenty of Marvel affiliates like Stan Lee and director James Gunn came to her defence and said the actress could bring something special to the portrayal of Mary Jane.
Spider-Man: Homecoming is slated for release in July, 2017.