Photo Credit: Marvel Studios
The internet was in something of a frenzy last week when the word leaked that Zendaya might have actually been playing long-time Spider-Man love interest Mary Jane Watson in Spider-Man: Homecoming. There was the inevitable backlash that seems to come with changes to a well known Comic Book Character but there’s also been an outpouring of approval of the possible change. Shortly after the casting news broke, a Reddit user posted an image of part of an alleged call sheet, revealing a few more character names.
*** The following features potential spoilers for Spider-Man: Homecoming***
While the image and thread have since been scrubbed from the internet, detailed descriptions of the call sheet remain online. The sheet appears to feature the cast for a high school scene. The majority of actors included are younger stars, and actors who have been rumored to be playing teachers are also among the listing.
While we can’t verify the authenticity of the list, this is your spoiler warning just in case it’s accurate. If you don’t want to be spoiled for characters that might appear in the movie before an official trailer is released, turn back now.
The list includes TH as Peter Parker, JB as Ned Leeds, LH as Liz Allan, and TR as Flash Thompson in the first four slots. Because those roles have already been announced, we know those parts belong to Tom Holland, Jacob Batalon, Laura Harrier, and Tony Revolori.
It also includes Angourie Rice as Betty Brant, a character who, in the comics, works for the Daily Bugle indicating that we might be seeing a high school version of her as well. Martin Starr is listed as Mr. Harrington which could be Roger Harrington, the principal that actually hires Peter Parker as a science teacher in the later comics. He’s not the principal here as that role goes to Kenneth Choi, who is listed as Principal Morita, an indication that he could be a family member (most likely grandson) of his own Captain America: The First Avenger Howling Commando character.
This appears to confirm that Bokeem Woodbine is playing the villain the Shocker as was rumored when he first joined the film. It’s also seems to point to a connection to yet another Spider-Man comic book villain as Selenis Leyva is listed as Mrs. Warren. Miles Warren was a scientist who became the Jackal in the comics, so Leyva could be playing a genderbent version of the character or a relative of the future villain, or it could easily be a coincidence as well.
Interestingly, it lists Tiffany Espensen’s character as “Cindy,” which has led to some speculation that she could be playing Cindy Moon, even if there aren’t plans to include the character as her Silk alter-ego. In the comics, Cindy was bit by the same spider that gave Peter Parker his powers, and while she did train in how to use her abilities, which differ greatly from his, she was targeted by a villain and placed in an underground bunker for several years for her own protection. Upon emerging from the bunker, she adopted her superhero alter ego and set out to find what happened to her family. She would be a welcome addition to the Spider-Man franchise by many comic book fans, but if this list is accurate, she could also simply be appearing as an Easter egg.
Also interesting in this particular list is that Zendaya is not listed as Mary Jane or MJ, but as the name released for her character at Comic Con and in press releases for the film - Michelle. Does this mean she’s not playing Mary Jane after all? Not necessarily.
It wouldn’t be difficult, especially over the course of a film focused on Peter rather than everyone else, for her to go the entire movie without her name being mentioned if the filmmakers wanted to keep it a secret. It wouldn’t be all that different from the character’s comic book introduction. Though she was mentioned in the comics and even showed up in a few, readers didn’t get to see her face for several issues.
There is also the possibility that “Michelle” could be the name the character uses simply to hide her identity in the film itself. Why? As an adult in the comics, Mary Jane goes on to become a model, an actress, and even a TV show host. Maybe this iteration of the character started her career early and is looking to blend in and get the normal high school experience.
And, of course, maybe she really is just Michelle, providing a new version of the classic character, still going by MJ, and still catching Peter’s eye. We won’t know until Marvel decides to unveil the truth, or the movie lands in theaters, whichever happens first.
Spider-Man: Homecoming is currently filming and will land in theaters next year.