According to The Wrap, an early draft of the film’s script dropped several references to Zendaya playing the character, who was originally portrayed by Kirsten Dunst in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy between 2002 and 2007. In March, Disney announced that Zendaya would play a key character, codenamed Michelle, and according to The Wrap’s multiple sources, that is indeed Mary Jane.
If Zendaya is playing Mary Jane, it’ll mark the first return to the character on film since 2007. The Amazing-Spider Man and its sequel, which starred Andrew Garfield as the web-slinging hero and and Emma Stone as Gwen Stacy, the other love interest in Peter Parker’s life. With Spiderman: Homecoming focusing on a high school aged Parker, however, Mary Jane Watson makes quite a bit of sense.
Spider-Man: Homecoming also marks the introduction of the character to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Prior to an agreement between Sony Pictures and Marvel Studios two years ago, the character was firmly property of Sony, despite Marvel’s attempts to secure the character for itself. Now, Marvel will create and produce the film, and it will be released under both the Marvel and Sony banners.
Spider-Man: Homecoming will hit theaters July 7, 2017.