Stan Lee has heard some of the grumbling about Zendaya's reported casting as love interest Mary Jane Watson in Spider-Man: Homecoming, and the web slinger's co-creator has a simple message for the haters: settle down. Speaking to the Toronto Sun, the comic book legend said those who are judging the 19-year-old Disney singer/actresses' reported role opposite Peter Parker (Tom Holland) on the basis that the character has traditionally been depicted in comics as a redheaded white woman are missing the point.
"If she is as good an actress as I hear she is, I think she'll be absolutely wonderful," Lee told the paper. "The color of their skin doesn't matter, their religion doesn't matter, all that matters is that this is the right person for the role." Lee said it's totally fine for characters to be transformed when they move from the page to the movies, noting that late black actor Michael Clarke Duncan was cast as Kingpin in the 2003 Daredevil movie. "In the Daredevil movie, the Kingpin – who had been white in the comics – he was a black man playing the role, and he played it beautifully,” Lee said.