Georgie Henley as Mary-Jane Watson? How the MCU Could Manage 2 MJs

Aside from Lois Lane, there might not be a more famous partner to a superhero than Mary-Jane Watson. 

Peter Parker’s literal girl next door, Mary-Jane, plays a vital part in nearly every Spider-Man related comic, series, film, and video game that the web-slinger is involved in. In the MCU version, Mary-Jane’s involvement has been more subtle, with Zendaya’s Michelle Jones character called “MJ” in the first film.

However, if fans have their way, Mary Jane could enter the fray and face off with MJ. 

Who is Mary-Jane Watson?

Mary-Jane lived next to Peter Parker growing up. Smitten with her at a young age, Parker’s entire persona is often guided by his love for the girl next door. Depending on the arc, Parker is dating, married to, divorced from, or in a separation from Mary-Jane — often because of his inability to balance Spider-Man with his personal life. 

Mary-Jane is often portrayed as an ambitious aspiring actress whose charm gets her around. Parker’s muse, she stands by his side when she knows who’s underneath the spandex.

Over the last six decades, fans have gotten many versions of the character, from more stereotypical girlfriend versions in the 60s to feministic ones in 2020. 

Mary-Jane is important to Peter Parker and Spider-Man in the same way that many artists have a muse who helps guide their work. In his mind, she and Aunt May are the best that humanity has to offer, and to protect them is to save the entire world.

Despite there being four different Spider-Man franchises since 2001 alone, Mary-Jane’s screen presence has been notably limited.

MJ on the big-screen

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To an entire generation of Marvel fans from the early 21st-century, Kirsten Dunst’s take on the character in Sam Raimi’s original trilogy is the definitive version. She had the charming, down-home charisma to make a believable muse for Peter Parker. Through three movies, fans saw Peter and MJ go from friends to a couple, a couple to exes, and back around to a beautiful married relationship by the end. 

The second incarnation of the character was cut from the second film altogether. Shailene Woodley shot many scenes with Mary Jane for the sequel of The Amazing Spider-Man.

Instead of creating a love triangle between her and Emma Stone’s Gwen Stacey, the movie focused on the tragic end to the original relationship with Gwen. 

Mary-Jane played a small role in Into the Spider-verse in multiple forms. Her presence is more implied in the Tom Holland movies, as Zendaya’s MJ is a stand-in for the original.

This MJ is an educated overachiever who is both a love interest and a friend to a young Peter Parker. However, fans want to keep Zendaya around while also getting the real Mary Jane into the mix. 

MJ, Mary-Jane Watson, and the MCU?

Georgie Henley
Georgie Henley | Wiktor Szymanowicz/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

Reddit user u/uptowndrunk7 responded to a thread about dream pairings in the MCU. During their message, they posited Georgie Henley as Mary Jane Watson in the MCU.

As one user pointed out, however, this isn’t likely to happen. Zendaya is seemingly meant to be the new Mary-Jane, but it got people thinking about what a potential Mary Jane and MJ team-up could bring. 

Henley might be best-known for her appearance in the Chronicles of Narnia trilogy and her recent work on The Spanish Princess. To include her in the MCU, however, the people of Marvel would have to get creative. However, with rumors of an expanded Marvel universe, in which JK Simmons and Jamie Foxx are already reprising roles from both the previous franchises, adding MJ could happen. 

Whether explained away as a simple difference in names or an elaborate take on the Spiderverse, some fans want to see Mary Jane Watson in the MCU instead of a different version. Whether this can ever happen, however, is up to the series’ makers.