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Andrew Garfield Wants Mary Jane to Be Male


There's been a lot of buzz going around lately about the role of Mary Jane Watson in the Amazing Spider-Man sequels. But Andrew Garfield recently pitched his own unique idea for the character: What if MJ was a guy?

While speaking with EW.com, the actor said he recently had a conversation with producer Matt Tolmach about Mary Jane and what he'd like to see. "I was kind of joking, but kind of not joking about MJ," Garfield said. "And I was like, 'What if MJ is a dude?' Why can't we discover that Peter is exploring his sexuality? It's hardly even groundbreaking! So why can't he be gay? Why can't he be into boys?"

I know that every new version of a property presents the opportunity for modification and improvement and playing to the strengths to a change in medium, but I have to admit admit to being the sort who on the whole likes reasonably faithful adaptions -- oh Star Trek, how I look accusingly at you, because way to miss the point on everything.

Of course, faithful doesn't mean exacting. The Ultimates verse is a really good — and relevant — example, where they've taken the core concepts and redone them in a way that strips off a lot of baggage while remaining faithful to what they were about. Changing a straight white dude from the original version into anything else is pretty much an expected part of that process.

But to lose a major female character to gain a gay male character, even if there is racebending involved. That’s arithmetic I can see people getting awfully conflicted over, and I'm honestly a little surprised not to see that being mentioned so far.

So what if we use a different calculus. What if MJ were trans? I’m thinking specifically MTF, because that way you get to keep a major female character female (doesn’t matter even if you cast cis male, if MJ is living and presenting as female, the character’s female) AND allow Peter to explore a non-cis so arguably still queer relationship.

Suddenly, the Peter/MJ dynamic isn’t just all about Peter’s secret. MJ would have one of her own, one that's about her, one that fits the franchise’s theme of transformations and what going through them does to you, one that Peter has to be responsible for instead of just the love interest always having the responsibility for his.

You could even take that further for the sake of melodrama and have the Amazing Spiderman franchise then raid the Ultimate!Spiderman clone saga to give us the fem!Peter version of Jessica Drew. How does MJ deal with Jessica being involuntarily given whe she’s always wanted/needed fherself even as she helps Jessica deal with a sudden and dramatic sense of disphoria. What does MJ do if she thinks — or some cunning opponent persuades her — cinematic superscience could give it to her too?


( 7 comments — Leave a comment )
Jul. 20th, 2013 06:18 pm (UTC)
I'm surely conflicted, I'm all for exploring alternative sexuality but MJ was one of those few girlfriend characters that was able to break out into her own as a character of her own worth. Actually she may have been the only girlfriend character to do that at Marvel successfully. Sadly, the Ramai films didn't always show that. Even if I still like the films.
Jul. 20th, 2013 10:16 pm (UTC)
I know what you mean
Jul. 20th, 2013 11:01 pm (UTC)
She is easily on my list of favorite comic characters period. She's getting such the shaft at Marvel comics, so more shafting in the movies this would feel like to me. But the possibilities of exploring the homosexuality angle - GAH!
Jul. 27th, 2013 06:39 am (UTC)
Late to the party, but why couldn't Peter just have a different partner (based on one of the suggestions above), and remain good friends with his ex, MJ?

For that matter, why couldn't he be in love with two different people at the same time, with the knowledge/permission of both?

Yeah, I dream too much. :/

Edited at 2013-07-28 12:02 am (UTC)
Aug. 4th, 2013 08:00 pm (UTC)
I don't think audiences are progressive enough to handle a trans MJ.

Honestly, I wouldn't be against a homosexual Peter Parker, but I do love the idea of bringing in a female clone of him and exploring gender issues that way even more.
Aug. 5th, 2013 04:57 pm (UTC)
Jessica Drew is the most likely part of the Ultimate franchise to make it to screen.
Aug. 11th, 2013 05:01 am (UTC)
I really want to see Miles Morales, but at the same time, I don't want Peter Parker to die...maybe he could be thought/presumed to be dead for a while and Miles comes in and takes over. Jessica Drew would be very welcome.
( 7 comments — Leave a comment )