Last week, the world was hit with a bit of shocking, possibly official casting news when a report came out saying that Zendaya’s mystery role as “Michelle” in next year’s Spider-Man: Homecoming, was actually none other than Mary Jane Watson, one of the most iconic Spider-Man supporting characters and love interests. Considering the differences in Zendaya’s look to Mary Jane’s, as you can probably imagine, the casting was met with a fairly large amount of backlash from some fans.
Guardians of the Galaxy director, James Gunn, has already shared his thoughts on the possible casting (without actually confirming it), and now it looks like none other than the Man himself has also shown his support for Zendaya as Mary Jane now as well.
In a new interview with the Toronto Sun, while promoting his upcoming appearance at the Fan Expo Canada event, Stan Lee commented on the news, saying he doesn’t think the color of an actress’ skin should be considered important when playing a role:
“If she is as good an actress as I hear she is, I think she’ll be absolutely wonderful. The color of their skin doesn’t matter, their religion doesn’t matter, all that matters is that this is the right person for the role.”
Considering how open Lee has been with his love for the character of Mary Jane over the years as well, I’d say that this is one hell of an endorsement for the new film.
The thing is that a number of the characters from Lee’s original comics were mostly all white anyways, which was just a sign of the times really, and a majority of the time during the 60s and earlier, comic book artists and creators had to be careful about making characters not-white, in the fear of political backlash from readers or parents.
Nowadays, the freedom to recast roles with actors and actresses of different colors is something that the studios can do now, and Lee has never once shown resistance towards those ideas either. Hopefully, Lee’s comments here will help to dissuade some fans from their anger over the casting, especially since we still have yet to see any official, public footage of Zendaya’s performance as the character released yet, and don’t even know what this take on Mary Jane is going to be. How about we wait until then to make our judgements?
Spider-Man: Homecoming is set to hit theatres on July 7th, 2017.
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