Spider-Man, no one knew who Zendaya was: ''We felt very stupid''

Spider-Man producer and Kevin Feige confess they didn't know who Zendaya was when she was cast as MJ.

Image Credit: Marvel Studios

Zendaya was already a star when she was cast as MJ in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, starting with the 2017 film Spider-Man: Homecoming. At that point in her career she had already amassed a large following as the star of two Disney Channel hits, Shake It Up and KC Undercover, as well as appearing in Beyoncé's film Lemonade and being a finalist on Dancing With The Stars.

However, producer Amy Pascal admitted to Vogue magazine that she had no idea who they had met with her: “To be honest, neither the president of Marvel Studios, Kevin Feige, nor I knew who she was. She had no makeup on and was dressed like a normal girl. We thought she was amazing. Only later did we find out that she was a very famous person, and we felt really stupid." Feige and Pascal produced all three Spider-Man films starring Zendaya, two of which grossed more than $1 billion at the global box office. Tom Holland, her current boyfriend, plays the lead role. 

Given that Zendaya was already a star before joining the MCU (even if Feige and Pascal had no idea), the additional fame that came to her thanks to Marvel wasn't too destabilizing for her personal life, as the star herself reveals to Vogue. “We were both very, very young, but my career had already begun and hers changed overnight. One day you're a kid and you're in the pub with your friends, and the next day you're Spiderman. Her life was changing before him. But he handled it very well.”

Both actors will likely return in a fourth Spider-Man film, although there is no word on when this might happen since neither Sony nor Disney has officially announced it. Still, Feige confirmed to Entertainment Weekly, that in February 2023, was being written, the process was delayed by the writers' strike. “All I'll say is we have the story. We have great ideas for it, and our writers are putting pen to paper now.”