Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn has hit out at internet critics of the potential casting of actress Zendaya (above) as Mary-Jane Watson in Spider-Man: Homecoming.
Although he denied knowing what her role is in the film, Gunn said the actress did match MJs characteristics despite any differing ethnicity.
Writing on Twitter, he said: “Yesterday, a rumor broke out that the character of Mary Jane was being played by a young black woman, Zendaya, and all hell broke out on the Internet (again). I tweeted that if people find themselves complaining about Mary Jane’s ethnicity they have lives that are too good. (For those of you who think this means I’m confirming that Zendaya IS playing MJ, realize that although I’ve read the Spidey script, and I’ve met the actress in question, I have no idea what her role is. There’s a good chance someone told me at one time or another, but, if so, I can’t remember. I’m going to find out when I go into Marvel this afternoon, but I feel free to speak until that time because it’s about the concept about a black woman playing Mary Jane, not the actuality or hypothesis of it.)
“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. 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.”
Spider-Man: Homecoming opens on July 7, 2017.
If you’re complaining about the ethnicity of Mary Jane your life is too good. https://t.co/b6XDUpRQ3i
— James Gunn (@JamesGunn) August 19, 2016