Is Marvel Grooming Zendaya’s MJ for Spider-Woman in the MCU?

We’ve seen Tobey Maguire’s beloved take on the web-slinger, Andrew Garfield’s run as Peter Parker, and Tom Holland’s Spider-Man. But one famous comic book narrative has yet to receive its cinematic justice: Spider-Woman. 

Spider-Woman first appeared in the Marvel comics in the 1970s, and in some versions the character MJ takes on the responsibility. This time around, MJ is Zendaya’s Michelle Jones, and she might have been prepped for Spider-Woman from the start.

Zendaya Spider-Woman
Zendaya attends the premiere of Sony Pictures’ ‘Spider-Man Far From Home’ at TCL Chinese Theatre. | Gregg DeGuire/WireImage

Why Michelle Jones could become Spider-Woman

While Michelle Jones is not Mary Jane, it’s clear Holland’s Spider-Man films are paying homage to the character with her nickname, MJ. It’s also quite apparent that the way in which Zendaya’s character has grown within the franchise points to vast potential.

Kirsten Dunst’s MJ was a bit of a damsel in distress, frequently in need of saving. Seeing her character transform into Spider-Woman would have been in direct contradiction with her depiction throughout the Maguire Spider-Man films. 

Emma Stone’s Gwen Stacy was an intelligent and courageous counterpart to Garfield’s Peter Parker. However, she had dreams of attending Oxford, wanting to gain a prestigious education and set up her life from there. Becoming Spider-Woman would have definitely interfered with her “normal life” plans.

On the other hand, Zendaya’s MJ is observant, analytical, and brave — all traits of Spider-Woman. She deduced Spider-Man’s identity from paying attention to Peter’s whereabouts, and she helped to discover Mysterio’s fraudulence. And though she’s a fairly serious person, Zendaya’s MJ does possess a dry and quick wit, which could make for quite an enjoyable Spider-Woman.

While Jess Drew is the predominant version of Spider-Woman in the comics, the character MJ features as Spider-Woman in the Marvel Mangaverse and the Exiles series. And as the film writers are seemingly setting up Zendaya’s portrayal for more than sidekick duties, it would make sense for her to carry the Spider-Woman torch. 

Zendaya has the necessary star power to play Spider-Woman 

While the writers might be developing MJ to fit a superhero mold, the actress behind the character has what it takes to bring people to the theater. Zendaya’s star quality has risen dramatically in the past few years, and it only continues to surge. 

Zendaya recently appeared in HBO’s Euphoria and The Greatest Showman. She is known for her dramatic and spell-binding work outside of the MCU, and she has the agile, athletic look needed to convincingly play a superhero. 

With the way the character has been built up, as well as Zendaya’s talent, there is no reason she should remain just MJ. As the next Spider-Woman, she has the potential to trigger a franchise of her own and appear in Marvel’s A-Force alongside the other fierce heroines of the MCU.

This is not to say MJ isn’t a compelling character herself. But wouldn’t we all love to see Spider-Woman?