The producer of Spider-Man: Homecoming recalls not knowing who Zendaya was when she auditioned for MJ

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Amy Pascal, the producer of the Spider-Man franchise, stated that she didn’t know who Zendaya was when she auditioned for the role of Michelle “MJ” Jones-Watson in 2017’s Homecoming. In a recent interview, she said that she was unaware Zendaya was a former Disney Channel star. As part of Vogue’s story on Zendaya to promote her new film, Challengers, Pascal said that she and Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige had no idea “who she was” when Zendaya walked in to audition for the role of snarky introvert Michelle. “She was without makeup and dressed like a regular girl, and we were like, ‘Oh my God, she’s amazing.'” “She has to be in the film,” she recalled. “And then we found out she was a totally famous person, and felt really stupid.”

While Michelle in Spider-Man: Homecoming was Zendaya’s first significant film role, she had already become a household figure, particularly among younger viewers, because to her appearances on various Disney Channel series. She first appeared as Rocky Blue in Shake It Up before landing her own Disney program, K.C. Undercover. She has also made cameo appearances on popular Disney Channel episodes such as Good Luck Charlie and A.N.T. Farm, as well as starring in Disney Channel Original Movies Frenemies and Zapped. Zendaya has played Michelle again in the seven years following the release of Homecoming, in Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) and Spider-Man: No Way Home (2021).Despite appearing in three fan-favorite Spider-Man films, her co-star and boyfriend, Tom Holland (Peter Parker/Spider-Man), revealed in January 2024 that Homecoming is the only MCU film the pair will see “every now and then.”He said that they like “reminiscing about being 19 and making those movies again.” I adore such movies and enjoy those moments, so I try not to watch them as frequently as I would want since they are so wonderful. It’s such a privilege and a blessing to be able to sit down and relive your youth.”

Since Michelle forgot about her relationship with Peter Parker at the conclusion of No Way Home, many fans are interested in knowing if Zendaya will reprise her role as the MCU character in the next Spider-Man 4. Zendaya is anticipated to return for the fourth Spider-Man film, which is believed to start filming this September/October, despite her hectic schedule with the Dune franchise and HBO’s Euphoria. It is not anticipated that Jon Watts, the director of the first three Spider-Man movies set in the MCU, will retake the reins. Rather, Justin Lin from Fast & Furious is reportedly being considered to helm the much awaited follow-up.

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