Oscar-winning actress Marisa Tomei told of how she had pitched to Sony producer Amy Pascal that Aunt May to be in a same-sex relationship in the Spider-Man trilogy.
Since her introduction to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Aunt May, has been seen either in a fling or relationship with Jon Favreau’s Happy Hogan, a relationship that began in Spider-Man: Far From Home, following Ben’s death.
Tomei spoke of how before the concept of Happy Hogan and May being in a relationship came to fruition, she had hoped Aunt May could have had a girlfriend, telling Geeks of Color:
“There was a moment where I felt that May was maybe- I was like “maybe she should just be with a woman because Ben is gone and who should she be with?” And we were kind of talking about it. And so, I actually really wanted Amy Pascal from Sony to be my Girlfriend. [laughs] I know. I was like: “no-one even has to know, Amy. I’ll just- I’ll just like be in a scene and you’ll be over there, and I’ll just be like “hey” y’know? It’ll just be a subtle thing.” But no-one went for it at the time.Geeks of Color
This would be a marked change from the comic books, where May has dated (and married) several people from Spider-Man’s supporting cast, from J. Jonah Jameson to Doctor Octopus. Previous live-action Aunt May iterations have strayed away from her ever dating after the death of her husband Ben, so the fact she had any relationship in this trilogy is a significant new idea.
The MCU hasn’t seen too many LGBTQIA+ characters, especially when it comes to main characters. So far, there’s only one gay superhero in the universe, in Phastos from Eternals. However, there have been some background characters or supporting cast, such as Zach Barack, the first transgender actor in the series, following his debut as one of Peter Parker’s classmates in Far From Home.
In the same interview with Geeks of Color, the actress also spoke of her pride in seeing co-stars Tom Holland and Zendaya achieve so much early in their careers and working within the greater Marvel franchise.
Spider-Man: No Way Home is currently in cinemas and is performing very well may be the first film to hit $1 billion at the box office since the COVID-19 pandemic began.