19 year old Disney star Zendaya Maree Stoermer Coleman has bagged the role of Mary Jane Watson, Spider-Man's love interest in 'Spider-Man: Homecoming' opposite actor Tom Holland.
According to The Wrap, Zendaya has been shortlisted to play Mary Jane, to the young Peter Parker. Rumors suggested Zendaya's addition in the film's growing cast, but speculated her role to be that of Michelle, who becomes Peter's love interest and roommate in the comics.
Mary Jane is traditionally showcased as a red-haired white skin girl and Zendaya's casting came as a shock and surprise to the fans as she is a mixed race and is not at all a blonde.
Many superhero fans vented their anger on social media and slammed the actress, protesting about the casting of Mary Jane.
"Since Mary Jane is being played by a Black woman, can MLK be played by a White man in a next movie about him?" wrote a seemingly distraught fan on Twitter. Another fan called the casting "wrong" and suggested the makers to stick to the original story instead.
Zendaya got support in the form of Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn who took to Facebook to pacify the issue.
"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," he wrote.
Gunn added that he thinks Zendaya matches MJ's primary physical characteristics of being tall and thin.
'Spider-Man: Homecoming', produced by Amy Pascal and Kevin Feige, will hit theatres on July 7, 2017.