Spoilers for the film will follow from this point on. You’ve been warned.
Ever since Zendaya was first cast in Spider-Man: Homecoming, there’s been a lot of mystery surrounding her role in the movie. Eventually, we learned that her character was named Michelle – but that didn’t stop fans from theorizing that she might really be Peter Parker’s most famous love interest, Mary Jane Watson. Despite the heavy amount of rumors, the cast and crew of have repeatedly denied it, and it turns out they were right all along.
As reported by Movie Pilot, some fans have been lucky enough to nab copies of the junior novelization of the movie which reveals who Michelle really is. It turns out that her full name is actually Michelle Toomes. That’s right, she has the same surname as Adrian Toomes AKA Vulture, as played by Michael Keaton in Homecoming. Michelle is not MJ in disguise then but actually the Vulture’s daughter.
This is a massive, unexpected reveal, to say the least. What it doesn’t tell us, though, is what role Michelle will play in the movie. For instance, we know that Laura Harrier’s Liz Allan will take the place of Peter’s love interest. Maybe Michelle could prove to be a valuable ally in Spider-Man’s quest to bring her crooked father down then? Likewise, she might also be a way to humanize the Vulture, making him a more sympathetic antagonist. He could be stealing stuff to fund her medical bills, like Sandman in Spider-Man 3.
Though the character is an original one for the movie, the idea of one of Peter’s friends being the offspring of one of his greatest enemies is pure classic Spider-Man. In the early comics, Green Goblin’s true identity was a mystery to Peter and the readers – until he found out that it was really Norman Osborn, the father of his best bud Harry.
Spider-Man: Homecoming swings into cinemas on July 7th, and we can’t wait to see how the film handles this intriguing new twist.