Zendaya is a character named Michelle, and later explains that her friends call her “MJ.” I don’t care that this is an alternate version of Mary Jane Watson, or not. MJ was a character from Peter’s ADULT life. Peter Parker met her in COLLEGE. Gwen Stacey as well. SONY wants Peter in High School for all of his movies, so I’m fine with the lack of a proper Mary Jane Watson. Zendaya is not her, and even if she was supposed to replace her, ultimately she isn’t her.
Upside down kisses, wet dresses or shirts clinging to her body, we had that MJ in Sam Rami’s trilogy. Having even an adult actor play a child and having moments like that… that’s awkward and distracting and honestly, I do not want that in this series of Spider-Man movies.
Tom Holland was in Civil War, has Homecoming, 2 more MCU Spider-Man movies, and he’s in the 2 Avengers movies coming up. Even if he gets contractually added to a couple more movies, there isn’t really time to make this Spider-Man have the build up for some of the smaller characters that the original comics had. If it did, MJ would have been hinted in the second movie by Aunt May or her Aunt Anna during graduation, the third movie would have eventually revealed her after Gwen Stacey had died at some point… *sigh* It’s better this way…
… Unless Sony plays ball, the contract is extended for 3 or 4 more Spider-Man movies and hey… maybe we will get a Mary Jane Watson that isn’t refereed to as MJ, or is and Parker thinks it’s a weird coincidence that she has a similar name to Zendaya’s character. Or hey, maybe Peter falls for someone else, who knows!