Stan Lee himself has decided to weigh in on the internet controversy regarding the casting of Zendaya in the role of Peter Parker’s love interest Mary Jane Watson in Marvel/Sony’s upcoming ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming.’
For those not in the know, apparently there are a group of people out there upset that they cast a black actress as a character who has historically been portrayed as a white, red-haired woman in the comics. Fortunately for us all, Stan Lee has weighed in on the matter, his opinion being especially important as he created the character of Mary Jane Watson, not to mention all of the other phenomenal superheroes he created over the years while working with Jack Kirby, Steve Ditko and John Romita. In Lee’s words:
“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.”
It is an amazing, and incredibly true sentiment. I personally think Zendaya was a great choice for the role, as she has the kind of attitude and personality that fits right in with how I have always seen Mary Jane Watson. And this is not the first time something like this has occurred. As Stan Lee points out (using the understandably not great example of the ‘Daredevil’ movie):
“In the Daredevil movie, the Kingpin – who had been white in the comics – he was a black man playing the role, and he played it beautifully.”
At the end of the day, if Stan Lee does not care if they alter his character, and if Zendaya does a good job, it really should not matter her race. It is about bringing the character to life, and making sure the film itself is the best it can be. What are your thoughts on the casting of Zendaya? Does it bother you that she looks different from the Mary Jane in the comics? Share your opinion in the comments below!