Zendaya didn’t play Peter Parker’s long-time love interest Mary Jane Watson in Spider-Man: Homecoming, and she won’t in Far From Home, either — she’s Michelle Jones. “She’s not Mary Jane Watson. She never was Mary Jane Watson. She was always this new high school character, Michelle, who we know there’s an ‘M’ in Michelle and an ‘M’ in Mary,” Marvel Studios chief Kevin Feige said about the confusion, adding that it was a “whole headache” for Zendaya to deal with. But it appears the Euphoria star is beginning to embrace the confusion, based on her recent look at the Far From Home press tour.
While visiting London with her co-stars Tom Holland, Jacob Batalon, and Jake Gyllenhaal, Zendaya showed up with her hair dyed crimson red. Some fans speculated that it meant she’ll be playing Ariel in Disney’s live-action The Little Mermaid remake, as has long been rumored, but nope: it was a nod to MJ.
“YALL ZENDAYA DIED HER HAIR RED THIS IS NOT A DRILL DOES IT MEAN SHE’S REALLY PLAYING ARIEL?? OR IS SHE TRYING TO TAKE ON THE ORIGINAL MJ PERSONA?? YALL THIS IS TOO MUCH BY BRAIN CAN’T HANDLE IT,” one overly-excited follower wrote on Twitter, to which Zendaya replied, “MJ homage” with a red heart. It’s not a wig, either: “I dyed it, semi-permanent,” she clarified. Of course, Zendaya’s use of the word “dyed” means there are probably something like 540 fan theories on Reddit about how MJ is going to “die” in Far From Home, because that’s how these things work.
As for playing Ariel, Zendaya recently shut that speculation down for good, tweeting, “Although flattering this is and always has been a rumor lol.” She’s already part of Disney’s world with Spider-Man — that’s enough for now.