Spider-Man: Homecoming is shaping up to be one of the most hotly anticipated films of 2017. It's no surprise, then, that every day brings a new rumor; and over the weekend, a particularly interesting one hit the Internet. A Redditor published what they claimed was a casting sheet from the film. It was swiftly taken down (and all sites that reproduced the image have since taken it down too, suggesting that #Marvel Studios wasn't too happy with it being out there). That said, I got to see it before it was erased from the Internet, so here are the four things that stood out to me...
1. Zendaya - Still Described as Michele
Although all official sources are still referring to Zendaya's character as Michele, comic book fans steadfastly refuse to believe that. Last week saw strong rumors emerge that Zendaya is actually playing Mary-Jane Watson, and the alleged race-hasn't been a huge hit with all Spidey fans, to say the least.
The interesting thing is, the image posted on Reddit still referred to Zendaya's character as Michele. That's actually the strongest argument in favor of this casting sheet being accurate, as anyone intending to fake this would surely be unable to resist the temptation of adding fuel to the MJ fire.
In the aftermath of SDCC 2016, EW got an exclusive interview with a handful of cast members from Spider-Man: Homecoming. As part of this, we got confirmation that Laura Harrier is Liz Allan, Jacob Batalon is Ned Leeds, and Tony Revolori is Flash Thompson. Oddly enough, the majority of film news websites have missed this, but the casting sheet matches with this interview (and adds Angourie Rice as Betty Brant). That's led to a number of sites presenting these particular castings as brand new information.
Again, this is a strong argument that the casting sheet is accurate; thus far, it's adhered to the casting info we've received from official sources.
2. Bokeem Woodbine as the Shocker
Spider-Man: Homecoming looks set to have a whole host of supervillains, and there are strong rumors that Bokeem Woodbine is playing one of them - a character known as the Shocker! The Shocker is a street-level thug who invented powerful vibrational technology. He uses this to crack safes and project devastating kinetic blasts! You can get more information on the Shocker - and the rumors that he's in the film - over in this post.
The casting sheet confirmed this, giving Spider-Man: Homecoming a minimum of three villains. It certainly looks like Spider-Man's going to be busy!
3. Selenis Leyva is Ms. Warren
So far, I've only discussed the things the casting sheet confirmed. Some of the news, however, was pretty remarkable - not least, Selenis Leyva's being cast as 'Ms. Warren'.
In the comics, Miles Warren was a professor who taught both Peter Parker and Gwen Stacy. He became obsessed with Gwen, and after her death began to work on cloning her. Gradually plunging into the depths of insanity, Miles Warren ultimately became known as the Jackal, and has continued to plague Spider-Man's life right up to the present day (the current "Dead No More" arc hinges on the character).
It's entirely possible that this 'Ms. Warren' is somehow connected with the Jackal - either a relative of Miles Warren, or (more likely) a gender-swapped version of the character. If so, this sets up the potential for Spider-Man clones. While the 1990s "Clone Saga" isn't fondly remembered, more recent writers - most notably Dan Slott - have redeemed the concept. Should this be handled with care, it could be great!
4. Tiffany Espensen is Cindy
The name 'Cindy' will surely get comic book fans to sit up and take note. In the comics, Cindy Moon was a classmate of Peter Parker's who was bitten by the same radioactive spider, and also gained super-powers. Her spider-sense is even more powerful than Peter's, and she's got tremendous skill with webbing - as well as, crucially, the ability to shoot natural webs from her hands. The character was created by Dan Slott, and cleverly retconned into #SpiderMan's history.
Tiffany Espensen certainly has the look of Cindy Moon, and introducing the character would be a smart move on Marvel's part. Dan Slott used Silk's introduction as the launch-pad of his "Spider-Verse" arc, which introduced a whole range of new characters, most notably the tremendously popular Spider-Gwen.
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So there you have it - that casting sheet has given us a lot of information to work with. Personally, I'm actually of the view this was genuine; a lot of the details have already been verified. If I'm right with my suspicions about the roles of Ms. Warren and Cindy, though, then Marvel and Sony are setting up some pretty powerful plots for Spider-Man's corner of the MCU...
Do you believe these casting details? Let me know in the comments!