Actress Zendaya will reportedly be portraying a famous “Spider-Man” character in the upcoming film “Spider-Man: Homecoming.”
According to TheWrap, “Shake It Up!” actress Zendaya is set to take on the role of Mary Jane Watson, a part previously played by actress Kirsten Dunst in the original “Spider-Man” film series with Tobey Maguire. Mary Jane is famously the love interest of Peter Parker, also known as Spider-Man.
“Homecoming,” which will be released in the summer of 2017, is the newest film take on the web-slinger. In addition to the three movies in which Mr. Maguire and Ms. Dunst starred, Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone starred in the 2012 movie “The Amazing Spider-Man” and 2014’s “The Amazing Spider-Man 2,” though Ms. Stone played “Spider-Man” character Gwen Stacy rather than Mary Jane Watson.
The actor portraying Spider-Man in “Spider-Man: Homecoming,” Tom Holland, was introduced to screen audiences in this year’s Marvel film “Captain America: Civil War” and was largely positively received.
The last “Spider-Man” film series featuring Mary Jane Watson became very financially successful, with the first film, 2002’s “Spider-Man,” becoming one of the highest-grossing films of the year, and the others succeeding financially, as well.
In these movies, MJ is often threatened by the villain of the day; the highly-praised “Spider-Man 2,” for example, ends with the villainous Doc Ock taking her captive.
Yet some critics praised Ms. Dunst’s portrayal of the character as going beyond a one-dimensional young woman in peril. Mick LaSalle of the San Francisco Chronicle wrote that Mary Jane is “a comic book character who’s no cartoon, but a sharp and talented young woman.”
Meanwhile, Todd McCarthy of Variety wrote that, “The action climax, which could have ended the picture in a routine way, is followed by a satisfying emotional exchange between Peter and Mary Jane … Dunst gets more screentime than before and fleshes out the damsel-in-distress aspects of her part with a nice portrait of a young woman trying to figure out where her future lies.”
Dunst "remains convincingly human all throughout the campy franchise as the sweet yet complex girl next door," Paste Magazine writer David Roark wrote of her performance in the series.
If Zendaya is indeed playing Mary Jane, we'll see when "Homecoming" arrives in theaters how the new movies portray the famous character.