Spider-Man: Homecoming is swinging into theaters in just under a month on July 7, and that is a truly big deal for fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Nearly a decade into Marvel's massive series of connected movies and we are just now getting the first solo movie from one of the publisher's most beloved characters, thanks to a deal Marvel Studios made with Sony. There are a lot of questions we have as we ramp up to the release, but one of the biggest mysteries is the true identity of Zendaya's character, known only as Michelle at this point. Well, thanks to some supplemental material for Spider-Man: Homecoming, we now know who Zendaya is actually playing, and it is a huge deal.
Warning: potentially massive spoilers ahead for Spider-Man: Homecoming. Seriously, this isn't your run of the mill minor spoiler stuff. This is huge, so read on at your own risk. You've been warned. As reported by Movie Pilot, some fans managed to get their hands on the junior novelization of Spider-Man: Homecoming, which seriously condenses down the movie, but leaves the core plot intact. As such, the book contains Zendaya's actual identity. Her character's full name is Michelle Toomes. Yes. As in Adrian Toomes. As in the man who becomes Vulture played by Oscar-nominee Michael Keaton in Spider-Man: Homecoming. That very same Toomes. Zendaya is playing Vulture's daughter. Let that sink in.
It was pretty hard to see that coming and, even knowing the big surprise with Zendaya's character in Spider-Man: Homecoming, should make things quite complicated for Tom Holland's Spidey this time around. As we've seen in the trailers, he and Michelle at the very least interact a bit at school, so he will have personal ties to her. Now, assuming he figures out who Vulture actually is, and we can safely bet he will, that will put young Parker between a rock and a hard place while trying to figure out how to deal with Adrian Toomes. Can't go around killing your friend's father, villain or not, without things getting ugly.
For months, even though it has been said to not be the case, many thought that Zendaya was playing Peter Parker's main squeeze, Mary Jane Watson. That didn't sit well with fans, so this pretty surprising reveal solves that. There were also many that assumed she was playing Michelle Rodriguez, a character who eventually becomes a police officer that dates an older version of Peter Parker in the comics. That seems more or less out of the question now as well, because she is the daughter of a supervillain and friend of Peter Parker. That should make things pretty dramatic in Spider-Man: Homecoming, depending on how this plays out.
It looks like director Jon Watts may have some curveballs in place for us in Spider-Man: Homecoming, which is good since this is the third version of the character we are seeing on the big screen in ten years. We should note that, since we don't actually have this junior novelization in hand, this could wind up not being true, but it would explain Marvel's secrecy surrounding her character. Now the question becomes, who is Michelle's mom?