Stan Lee makes a stand after several fans and critics opposed to Zendaya Stoermer role as Mary Jane Watson in the next Spiderman movie. Guardian of the Galaxy director James Gunn also supported the young actress and explained that a character is not the color of its skin but its personality.
Rumours of Zendaya portraying Mary Jane Watson, a white redhead character in Stan Lee’s comic books The Amazing Spider-Man, have filled the internet with hate messages because a black woman will represent the character.
In response to the critics to the cast selection, the man that created the Spider-Man universe told the Toronto Sun that if Zendaya is a great actress she will be “absolutely wonderful.” Lee made a stand on the controversy surrounding the cast of a black woman instead of the typical caucasian redhead and said the color of the skin does not matter, nor the religion. The only thing that is important to consider when an actress or actor is chosen to play a character in a movie is if she or he is the right person to do it.
Stan Lee explained it is normal to change some aspects of the comic characters when the story is adapted for a movie. He used as an example the decision to hire black actor Michael Clarke Duncan as Kingpin, a white character in Daredevil comics. Lee said the skin color was different and still Duncan played the role beautifully.
James Gunn explains why it is important to modify characters appearance when adapting a work to a movie
Lee comments supporting Zendaya as the new Mary Jane come after Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn also defended the young actress. He first wrote on his Twitter account about people’s reaction to the selection of the cast. But then he wrote on his Facebook an extended opinion regarding internet haters against Zendaya as Spider-Man’s crush.
On Friday, Gunn posted on his wall that if a character is only important because of his skin color, or her hair color, then, the character is not good enough. It lacks and essential trait: personality. And a character without personality is unable to catch the audience’s attention.
The director stated that movies are meant to adapt old comics to the present time, and the present is diversity. If all movies based on comics followed the originals as an inflexible story, the movies would fail to conquer the current reality, and we will be seeing even more white actors and actresses on the big screen.
Gunn understands people that want the movie to be exactly like the comic and he also understands their anger when directors create a film completely different from the comic story. But this is not the case of Zendaya. The movie has not been premiered yet to decide if it is faithful to the comic and most important: Zendaya’s role as Mary Jane is still a rumor.
The truth behind the news of Spider Man’s love for his next movie has to wait for confirmation from Sony’s studios.
Gunn said he cannot change the minds of people that discriminate based on the color of the skin. But to those who are not racists he asked them to be more open to the idea that even when the actor/actress does not match physically with the fictional character, it may match the personality that the comic transmitted. In the end, that is the primary intention.
The good news is not all fans rejected the idea of a black woman as Mary Jane, and Zendaya, who is 19 years old, could have the chance to impress us all in Spider-Man: Homecoming.