Marvel and Sony are well aware of audience concerns over another Spider-Man reboot, given its been less than two years since The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (starring Andrew Garfield). The two studios are working together for the first time to introduce the character into the established M.C.U. alongside characters like Iron Man, Captain America, and others. The focus of their plan is to make these new Spider-Man films as much different as possible from the previous films.
That includes taking the Peter Parker character back to his days in high school, where some of his most famous stories in the comics took place. After an extensive casting search, they decided on Tom Holland to star as their new Spider-Man, who at 19 years old is the youngest actor cast in the role. Now there’s news that Marvel/Sony are looking to further separate their film, by creating such a diverse cast to support their young star.
The Hollywood Reporter is hearing that Marvel/Sony are looking to go “heavily non-white” with their supporting cast. This morning we have our first casting announcement relating to this news, as Zendaya Maree Stoermer Coleman (more famously known as Zendaya) has been added to the cast in a key role. The young actress is a veteran in Disney channel shows with roles in iCarly and Good Luck Charlie, along with several of her own shows. Spider-Man will mark her first big feature role, and she’ll play a character named Michelle.
Zendaya is the first mixed race actress added to this cast, with plenty more roles to fill in the coming months. I think its perfect that Marvel/Sony are answering the call to more diversity in Hollywood. Just last Sunday, Oscars host Chris Rock used the opportunity to address the ongoing issue on a Nationally televised event. These roles that Marvel/Sony hope to make “heavily non-white” may not be leading roles, but it’ll get these young actors’ foot in the door with a heavy recognizable blockbuster, and widen their chances of getting more (& hopefully bigger roles) in the future.
Spider-Man is set to be directed by Jon Watts (Cop Car), with a script written by John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein (Vacation). The film will begin shooting this summer for a July 2017 release.