James Gunn, the Guardians of the Galaxy director, has weighed in on Zendaya‘s casting as Mary Jane in Spider-Man: Homecoming – which is still merely a popular rumor.

James Gunn On Zendaya’s Casting

While Gunn claims to be as in the dark as the general public as to what character Zendaya is playing in Spider-Man Homecoming, he made it plain in a recent post on Facebook that he believes that Zendaya would make a great MJ. More than that, he made a compelling case against those who get hung up on the race of comic book characters who are brought to the big screen.

“For me, if a character’s primary attribute – the thing that makes them iconic – is the color of their skin, or their hair color, frankly, that character is shallow and sucks,” Gunn wrote on Facebook. “For me, what makes MJ MJ is her alpha female playfulness, and if the actress captures that, then she’ll work. And, for the record, I think Zendaya even matches what I think of as MJ’s primary physical characteristics – she’s a tall, thin model – much more so than actresses have in the past.”

Gunn added, “Whatever the case, if we’re going to continue to make movies based on the almost all white heroes and supporting characters from the comics of the last century, we’re going to have to get used to them being more reflective of our diverse present world. Perhaps we can be open to the idea that, although someone may not initially match how we personally conceive a character, we can be – and often are – happily surprised.”


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Last week, The Wrap reported that Sony had tapped Zendaya to play Spider-Man’s love interest Mary Jane Watson in the latest reboot of the superhero franchise. It was first reported back in March of this year that Zendaya had been cast in the latest Spider-Man movie, which will star Tom Holland in the titular role. At the time, it was unknown what character the former Disney Channel star would be taking on in the Jon Watts-directed movie.

Zendaya has yet to comment about the news surrounding her role.

Spider-Man: Homecoming hits theaters July 7, 2017.

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