For the second time in less than 15 years, Spider-Man is being rebooted for a film franchise. But the good news is that, this time around, Peter Parker/Spidey will be played by an actual teenager – Tom Holland – and the reboot is attached to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, which has such a high batting average at the moment that they practically can’t miss. [Let’s pretend Iron Man 2 didn’t happen.]

As the first film of the new franchise comes together, the project’s starting to bring together its cast. Deadline reports that Zendaya Coleman has been cast as a lead in the upcoming film alongside Holland. Early reports claim that she’ll be playing a character named Michelle. This is great news given Zendaya’s growing popularity and adds to the much needed diversity to comic book products.

But there’s something I can’t ignore here. Now, I consider myself a proud nerd. And Spider-Man is neck-and-neck with Batman as my favorite superhero ever. I’ve read plenty of his comics (both old and new), watched all the movies and even own that short-lived MTV series that starred Neil Patrick Harris on DVD.

With all of that experience, I have to be honest. I have absolutely no idea who in the world “Michelle” could even be. I can even name you three of Peter Parker’s love interests that aren’t named Mary Jane Watson and Michelle doesn’t ring any bells. So, if this isn’t a fake name to throw people off, my gut tells me that Coleman won’t be playing a love interest but will co-star along with Holland in some other capacity.

If not, this actually gives me reason to be optimistic. This is a sign that, now three renditions in, they’re starting to tell some new stories instead leaning on familiar tropes like forcing us to fall in love with another Uncle Ben just for the inevitable to happen. For now, we’ll just have to wait and see what happens and hope we like what we see from this new Spider-Man in Captain America: Civil War in May.


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