Zendaya was announced to have a role in Sony’s newest Spider-Man reboot a couple of weeks ago, and while the actress/singer never made an official statement at the time, she’s broken her silence this week!
Zendaya appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show and confirmed her role in the new Spider-Man reboot, reports Just Jared, and the 19-year-old star was still withholding who exactly she would be playing in the Spidey film.
“I can’t say anything else other than I’m going to be in it,” Zendaya told Ellen, revealing that there’s not much else she knows for sure. “I have no idea when filming begins. I don’t even know that to be completely honest.”
Zendaya originally began working as a fashion model for retailers such as Macy’s, Mervyns, and Old Navy. In 2009, Zendaya auditioned for the Disney Channel series Shake It Up and landed a role, and later earned a role in the 2012 Disney Channel original movie Frenemies. She also appeared on Season 16 of ABC’s Dancing with the Stars, and returned to Disney for the series K.C. Undercover in 2015. Needless to say, this Spider-Man role is going to be her first role in a major film, and making the transition from television to movies is a big deal for her.
“It’s very exciting,” Zendaya told DeGeneres. “When it comes to the acting space, I’m basically unknown. I’ve never been in a real movie before or anything like that, so I had to start from the bottom like anyone else. I auditioned and auditioned and auditioned and broke down those walls because a lot of people do have that preconceived notion of who I am based off previous things I’ve done, so you got to really break that down and go hard, put in the work, take all the meetings, take all the auditions.”
This episode of The Ellen DeGeneres Show will air Wednesday, March 23.
Zendaya’s casting was originally announced by Deadline earlier in March, with details on who she would be playing being kept under wraps. The only tidbit that was mentioned was that Zendaya would be playing a character named Michelle. The only character that seems to match is one named Michelle Gonzales, who was introduced in The Amazing Spider-Man in 2009 (issue #592). A roommate of Peter Parker, Michelle was a criminal defense lawyer who knew Muay Thai and owned a shotgun. And upon that description, it sounds unlikely that Sony will be heading in that direction with this Spider-Man reboot.
It is also unclear if Zendaya will be the main love interest in the film, as characters Mary Jane Watson and Gwen Stacy have been primary love interests in the Spider-Man comics, especially M.J., Mary-Jane, has always been drawn as white, with red hair and green eyes — with the original artist John Romita Sr. using Ann-Margret from the movie Bye Bye Birdie as a guide. Has Sony decided to reimagine the character of Mary Jane with Zendaya? That much is still not yet known.
It is absolutely possible that “Michelle” is just a code-name, hiding the character’s true identity until the studio is ready to confirm it. At the same time, it’s very likely that Zendaya is simply playing an original character, not from the comics, who was created solely for the film.
Zendaya’s role may be a mystery, but at least we’ve gotten a look at what Sony’s new Spider-Man is going to look at, since Marvel has finally revealed him to the public! Tom Holland’s version of Spider-Man popped up at the very end of the final trailer for Captain America: Civil War, and had the entire internet buzzing.
Sony’s new Spider-Man reboot, directed by Jon Watts, is currently scheduled for release on July 7, 2017.
[Photo by Jason Merritt/Getty Images]