Way back when Spider-Man: Homecoming was in the casting stage, the name Zendaya was brought up. At the time, I recall walking through the student center at college, thinking who is that? As I read a little bit of information, it seemed like she was mainly known her role on the Disney Channel show Zapped.
The next question I had was surely on everyone else’s mind as well. Since they simply stated that she would be playing the lead female role when the news first broke, everyone was asking “who will she be playing?”. If you are familiar with the Spider-Man world, two names would clearly come to mind right away.
Those names would be Mary-Jane Watson and Gwen Stacy. Then word came out that she wouldn’t be playing either of those roles. Instead, she would take the mantle of a character named Michelle.
Immediately, fans were flooding the internet saying this was simply going to be a coverup. In reality, they thought Michelle was simply a code name for Mary Jane. Some bought in, and some didn’t. But now it appears we have some news on the character.
So it sounds like she will indeed be a Michelle. But it is her last name that is more important in the grand scheme of things. That is because she will be Michelle Toomes. This, would very likely mean she is the daughter of the film’s main villain, the Vulture.
Simply put, this makes plenty of sense. And it surely means good things for the film.
For starters, it means we are getting away from Mary Jane and Gwen for at least one Spidey film. Given this is the third iteration of the character, it will be refreshing to see a new female character getting the spotlight. While the other two are iconic with the character of Peter Parker, they can easily be built into future films. Zendaya’s character does not really seem like a true love interest for Peter. If that holds true in the film, then either of the others can easily be added in for that purpose in a sequel.
Secondly, the reveal has a big impact on one of the film’s key overarching themes: family. It has been pretty clear from all of the promotional material we have seen, the concept of family will play a prominent role in the movie. We all know Peter’s story in terms of his parents and Uncle Ben.
As a result, he will clearly see Tony Stark as a bit of a father figure. Therefore, the idea of the Avengers and being a part of them will be like joining a completely new family. It will likely be one of his key motivations throughout the entire film. That along with his actual family in Aunt May, who clearly plays a key role in his life.
But it is not just Peter that family is important too. Michael Keaton’s villain, the Vulture, is only setting out on his path to evil because of his family. He wants what is best for them and feels the Avengers are not making that possible. Now, it just so happens that family he wishes to provide for will include Zendaya.
This will certainly add in an extra layer as well, as Zendaya’s Michelle will likely be torn between sides at a point in the film. In the trailers, there is a scene where Michelle shouts “My friends are up there!” as Spidey leaps into actions. Assuming whatever havoc is happening is caused by her father, something tells me she is going to be a bit ticked when she learns it was him.
The only potential pitfall is that it could feel too repetitive to James Franco’s role in the original Spidey series, as his father turned out to be the Green Goblin. But I think the two characters and their roles are so different that that should not be any issue.
All in all, I am pleased to learn the character of Michelle will be the daughter of the film’s big bad and not a code name for MJ.
What are your thoughts? Do you like the idea? Or do you think it makes no sense? Tell us what you think in the comments!