Zendaya’s Role of MJ in ‘Spider-Man: Far from Home’ to Be Movie’s Biggest Twist
Zendaya is reprising her role as Michelle Jones, aka MJ, in the Spider-Man: Far From Home sequel and she is ready to continue rejecting tired female tropes in superhero movies. Despite her nickname being a “fun homage” to the Mary Jane Watson comic book character, Zendaya’s MJ stands on her own as clever, snarky, and messy student, who we expect will play a pivotal role in the movie instead of a girl-next-door cliché.
While the new MJ is seemingly building towards a romantic storyline with one Peter Parker in the Far From Home trailers, she’s not simply the love interest or damsel in distress, but a well-developed character who is a badass in her own right. Zendaya’s MJ will revamp that relationship with Tom Holland’s Peter in a major way, providing the biggest twist of the Marvel movie by breaking the mold of being more than “just the girl.” Fans shouldn’t be surprised if the highly observant MJ calls out Peter for being Spider-Man and revealing she knows his alter-ego’s true identity.
A particularly refreshing spin on MJ’s character compared to the classic Mary Jane is that Mary Jane Watson has always been written to have more of a thing for Spider-Man, whereas MJ’s interest lies solely with Peter. Their relationship has been set up as a casual and three-dimensional slow burn, which is, after all, Marvel’s specialty. Zendaya’s role as MJ won’t be the only thing shaking up the MCU when Spider-Man: Far From Home swings into theaters, though. The movie is opening up many new doors, and we put together a few key elements we’re looking forward to.
Photo: Marvel Studios
A Changed Universe
Imagine disappearing one second and waking up five years later with half of the population in the same boat. Far From Home will be our introduction to the aftermath of the return of Thanos' Decimation victims, who will have to come together and support each other in their new reality.
Peter, MJ, and Ned (Jacob Batalon) will feel like outsiders in a world that was forced to move on without them. The characters in Far From Home won't be the only ones affected by the disappearing act as the five-year lapse and sudden return of billions of people could inform the future of the MCU.
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse proved there is a vast interest in multiple timelines and parallel universes. In the trailers, Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal) is introduced by Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) as a character from another dimension after the Snaps by Thanos and Hulk supposedly tore a hole in the cosmos.
If Mysterio is telling the truth about his origins, the multiverse could open up a brave new world that would impact MCU projects in Phase 4 and beyond. The possible character crossovers are enough to get the mind racing, considering that Disney now owns Fox's film studio in addition to Marvel.
New Heroes and Villains
A new phase and a probable multiverse means an endless amount of new heroes and villains that Marvel Studios can introduce in the Spidey films and the MCU. Perhaps one day we will see a different take on the Green Goblin, or maybe a Sinister Six plot is in store?
With more villains comes new heroes and the perfect opportunity to bring some new blood onto the big screen. We still have plenty of heavy hitters whose stories are not over, such as Black Panther and Captain Marvel, but there's plenty of room for a few fresh faces.
Ending Phase 3
Kevin Feige confirmed that Spider-Man: Far From Home serves as the final film in Phase 3 of the MCU, specifically with Peter dealing with losing his mentor and father figure Tony Stark. The movie brings a section of the MCU storyline to a close as it opens up what Marvel is planning for the future. Those who have already seen the movie continue to not-so-subtly hint at how important the post-credit scenes are. With a demand not to be missed, those end credit scenes sound like a glimpse at Phase 4's prospective path.
Grown-Up Peter Parker
The ending of this phase will not conclude Peter Parker's story. If anything, Far From Home is setting up the next chapter of Spider-Man's journey and what that looks like without Iron Man. After everything he's been through, Peter will be able to take Tony's many lessons to help him become the Spider-Man he was always meant to be, and the heart of the MCU's future.