Marvel director responds to Zendaya 'Spider-Man' race controversy

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The Marvel universe is a tight community and director James Gunn is standing up for a rumored new member.

The “Guardians of the Galaxy” skipper shared his opinion on the swirling rumors that Zendaya, who is half black, will star in “Spider-Man: Homecoming” as Mary Jane Watson, a character traditionally depicted as white and red-haired.

“All hell broke out” on the internet over the casting choice, Gunn said.even though most social media users were on Zendaya’s side.

While several hot-takers did question the character’s change of race — and the 19-year-old Disney star’s acting skills — it seems that all but a few social media users had Zendaya’s back.


Director James Gunn of Marvel’s “Guardians of the Galaxy” spoke out on the race controversy surrounding Zendaya’s rumored role in “Spider-Man: Homecoming.”

(CARL COURT/AFP/Getty Images)

“Since Mary Jane is being played by a Black woman, can MLK be played by a White man in a next movie about him?” one Twitter user wrote.

“People saying some are racist because they don’t want Zendaya as MJ, nah she’s just a bad actress, nothing to do w/ skin color or ethnicity,” another user added.

Gunn did not confirm Zendaya’s appearance in the role — still just speculation spurred by a report from The Wrap. But the director did want to clarify that people with race-based gripes “have lives that are too good.”

“People get upset when something they consider intrinsic to a comic book character changes when adapted for a film. I get this…,” he wrote.

“That said, I do not believe a character is the color of his or her skin,” Gunn continued.

It is “shallow,” he added, if a character’s main attribute is the color of his or her hair or skin.

“Whatever the case, if we’re going to continue to make movies based on the almost all white heroes and supporting characters from the comics of the last century, we’re going to have to get used to them being more reflective of our diverse present world,” he said.

Exported.; atx;

Kirsten Dunst played Mary Jane Watson to Tobey Maguire’s Spider-Man.


“Spider-Man: Homecoming” will be directed by Jon Watts and is due out in July 2017.

English actor Tom Holland, 20, will play the role of Spider-Man and actress Marisa Tomei was just brought on as Aunt May Parker.

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