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Zendaya didn’t know she was auditioning for MJ in Spider-Man: Homecoming

Zendaya as MJ in Spider-Man: Homecoming
(Image credit: Marvel/Disney)

Spider-Man: Homecoming actor Zendaya has revealed that she didn’t know she was auditioning for the role of MJ. In Spidey’s first solo MCU outing, Zendaya was only revealed to be playing the iconic comic-book character towards the end of the movie, though her name is Michelle Jones rather than the more familiar Mary Jane.

In a video with GQ, and reported by Screen Rant, Zendaya shared: "We weren’t supposed to know that the script pages that we were reading were for Spider-Man, but I did find out that it was for Spider-Man cause I have good agents. But I didn’t know what role I was auditioning for. I just thought it was 'girl in Spider-Man movie.' I didn’t really know what character, or what kind of character, they would be."

She then said: “Right before the screen test, they were kind of saying okay these are the characters that we’re reading for, MJ being one of them, and I was like "'oh that would be so cool!'"

Kirsten Dunst famously brought MJ to the big screen in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy, but the character was absent from The Amazing Spider-Man movies. Zendaya’s version of the character is a very unique take, which is a breath of fresh air considering this is the third live-action iteration of Spidey we’ve seen in the last two decades.

Zendaya will be reprising her role in the currently untitled Spider-Man 3, which is potentially shaping up to be an epic crossover – with Dunst possibly returning as her own version of MJ, along with (reportedly) Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield as their respective versions of Peter Parker. Jamie Foxx is also said to be back as Electro, along with (again, reportedly) Alfred Molina as the multi-tentacled Doc Ock.

While we wait for Spider-Man 3 to hit the big screen on December 17 2021, check out everything we know so far about Marvel Phase 4.

Molly Edwards

I'm a freelance Entertainment Writer here at GamesRadar+, covering all things film and TV for our Total Film and SFX sections. I previously worked on the Disney magazines team at Immediate Media, and also wrote on the CBeebies, MEGA!, and Star Wars Galaxy titles after getting my BA in English.