Spider-Man’s Shocking Casting Secret Revealed by Kevin Feige

Marvel Studios’ Kevin Feige and Sony’s Amy Pascal had no idea who one of their biggest actors was when they cast them for the MCU’s Spider-Man.

Zendaya's MJ and Tom Holland's Spider-Man on a date in Spider-Man Far From Home

One of the biggest actors to join the Marvel Cinematic Universe in the Spider-Man reboot was completely unknown to the executives when they were cast. Tom Holland’s first Spider-Man trilogy became one of the most successful in the MCU after the web-crawler’s late addition to the franchise. However, Holland wasn’t the only major talent that the MCU recruited as part of the new Spider-Man franchise, as Zendaya was another huge star to become part of Marvel Studios’ ever-growing superhero universe.

During a Vogue spotlight, Amy Pascal – former Sony boss and longtime producer of Spider-Man movies – revealed that she and Feige didn’t know who Zendaya was during the audition for Spider-Man: Homecoming, and that it was only after they actually tapped her for the major MCU gig that they realized who she was, sharing the following:

To be honest with you, neither Kevin Feige nor I knew who she was. She was wearing no makeup and she was just dressed like a regular girl, and we were like, ‘Oh my God, she’s amazing. She has to be in the movie.’ And then we found out she was a totally famous person, and felt really stupid.

Zendaya’s MCU Casting Story Proves She’s Perfect For The Role

MJ (Zendaya) and Peter (Tom Holland) smile at each other on the London Bridge at the end of Spider-Man Far From Home

Throughout the entire MCU Spider-Man trilogy, Zendaya’s version of MJ – reimagined as Michelle Jones-Watson by Marvel Studio and Sony Pictures – was continuously one of the characters to grow the most in all three films. Even though Pascal and Feige may not have known at the time what a star player they landed with Zendaya, the Euphoria actress went on to prove herself for each Spider-Man movie. Indeed, the fact that Pascal and Feige didn’t know who Zendaya was only further underlines how perfect she is for the role, as it’s clear her acting prowess is what won her the part.

As the MCU audience got to see MJ grow up and become more integral in Spider-Man’s story, Zendaya’s character came a long way from being Peter’s snarky classmate to ultimately becoming his true love, with the gradual progression of the pair’s romance making it all the more potent. This also played a big part in why the huge ending twist of Spider-Man: No Way Home is even more devastating when Peter has everyone forget he ever existed, as this involves splitting the pair apart.

It will be interesting to see how Zendaya returns to the MCU, with MJ being rumored to show up in Holland’s Spider-Man 4 movie. With the heartbreaking ending of Spider-Man: No Way Home, time will tell how the franchise reunites MJ with Peter, as the world no longer knows who he is thanks to Doctor Strange’s spell. But until Spider-Man 4 happens, the MCU audience can relive Zendaya’s run in the Spider-Man trilogy through Blu-Ray/DVD and on streaming.

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