‘Spider-Man’ Star Wants Out From “Superhero Role”

in Marvel

Zendaya as MJ Williams and Tom Holland as Spider-Man in the middle, Tom Holland Image on the left side and Zendaya Image on the right side

Credit: Inside the Magic

This Spider-Man star is ready for a change.

mj (left) and spider-man (right) in no way home opening sequence
Credit: Sony Pictures/Marvel Studios

Related: Spider-Man’s Own Definitive Ranking of the ‘Spider-Man’ Movies

The narrative of Peter Parker, a young resident of New York, being bitten by a radioactive spider and subsequently transforming into the iconic superhero Spider-Man, is a globally recognized tale. At the heart of this narrative lies the moral message that “with great power comes great responsibility.” This iconic story has been reimagined across a range of platforms, from animated renditions to live-action movies, and beyond.

Tom Holland as Spider-Man/Peter Parker in Spider-Man: No Way Home
Credit: Marvel Studios/Sony Pictures

Over the years, various actors have assumed the iconic Spider-Man role in movies inspired by Jack Kirby and Stan Lee’s Marvel Comics. Tobey Maguire featured in Sam Raimi’s 2002 Spider-Man, followed by Andrew Garfield in 2012’s The Amazing Spider-Man. Tom Holland, introduced in Captain America: Civil War (2016), headlined his Spider-Man films starting with Spider-Man: Homecoming in 2017. He also appeared in Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) and the 2021 Spider-Man: No Way Home, alongside Maguire and Garfield.

(left to right) Andrew Garfield, Tom Holland, Tobey Maguire variants of Peter Parker/Spider-Man edited with Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse background marvel
Credit: Marvel Studios/Sony Pictures

Related: Marvel Star Addresses New Sam Raimi ‘Spider-Man 4’ Movie

The State of Spider-Man in the MCU

Within the present context of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Spider-Man is noticeably absent.

(right to left) Andrew Garfield, Tom Holland, Tobey Maguire variants of Peter Parker/Spider-Man with Spider-Man logo; Marvel Studios
Credit: Inside the Magic

Tom Holland’s rendition of Spidey within the MCU now finds himself without a sense of belonging, without any family connections or companionship. Due to an error in a spell cast by Doctor Strange (portrayed by Benedict Cumberbatch), the entirety of the MCU realm has no recollection of Peter Parker’s existence. In effect, this spell has essentially negated the shocking reveal from the end of Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019), where J. Jonah Jameson of the Daily Bugle (JK Simmons) publicly discloses Spider-Man’s true identity as Peter Parker.

Zendaya as MJ Williams (left) and Tom Holland as Spider-Man (right)
Credit: Marvel Studios / Sony Pictures

Recently, while speaking to Elle during an Ask Me Anything (AMA) interview, Spider-Man star Zendaya opened up about a role she has hopes to play in the future — and that means hanging up her “goody two shoes” persona.

The MJ actor would “love to play a villain” and really “tap into that evil, supervillain vibe”. Regarding what project she’d be interested to work on, the actor known known for starring in Marvel Studios’ Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU):

Whatever that manifests in, I don’t think necessarily in a superhero sense but in an emotional sense. I feel like I usually play the good guy, so I’d like to play the bad guy.

With a future that’s totally unknown for her character in the MCU, and with the penchant of the Multiverse Saga to play with different universes, it’s not out of the realm of possibility for Zendaya to get the chance to show off her villainous acting chops.

The Euphoria (2019) star can be caught starring in the lead the role of Chani in the upcoming Dune: Part Two (now delayed to 2024) opposite Timothée Chalamet.

Do you think Zendaya could pull off a truly villainous character? Share your thoughts in the comments below!

More on Spider-Man characters

Spider-Man has many iconic friends and foes that have spawned from the superhero franchise to transcend into popular culture.

Peter Parker’s friends include Harry Osborn (James Franco), and Mary Jane Watson (Kirsten Dunst), in the Raimi Spider-Man trilogy, while Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone) stars prominently in The Amazing Spider-Man duology. Ned Leeds (Jacob Batalon) and MJ/Michelle Jones (Zendaya) star in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), along with Aunt May Parker played by Rosemary Harris (Sam Raimi’s trilogy), Sally Field (The Amazing Spider-Man series), and Marisa Tomei (MCU). Additionally, Flash Thompson is portrayed by various actors across adaptations, including Joe Manganiello (Sam Raimi’s series), Chris Zylka (The Amazing Spider-Man series), and Tony Revolori (MCU).

Iconic villain portrayals like Willem Dafoe’s menacing Green Goblin in the Sam Raimi Spider-Man trilogy, alongside Alfred Molina who brought the multifaceted Doctor Octopus/Doc Ock to life in Spider-Man 2 (2004), are perfect examples. Thomas Haden Church as Sandman in Spider-Man 3, Paul Giamatti as Rhino alongside Jamie Foxx as Electro in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014), Rhys Ifans as The Lizard in The Amazing Spider-Man (2012), and Jake Gyllenhaal as Mysterio in Far From Home.

Aaron Taylor-Johnson is set to star as Kraven the Hunter in an upcoming Sony Pictures movie of the same name.

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