Zendaya's role in Spider-Man: Homecoming revealed

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Aug 23, 2016, 4:52 AM EDT (Updated)

The part that Disney Channel star Zendaya is playing in Spider-Man: Homecoming has been shrouded in mystery ... until now. Spoiler alert, everyone!

Stop right here if you don't want to know anything else about Zendaya's character ... otherwise continue below the pic.

According to The Wrap, which has intel from two sources with knowledge of the project, she will be portraying Peter Parker/Spider-Man's long-time love Mary Jane Watson in the new film from Marvel Studios and Sony Pictures.

When the actress, who has starred in the Disney Channel shows Shake It Up! and K.C. Undercover, was first cast last March, her character was given the name "Michelle." But fans have been speculating for months that the name was simply a placeholder and there was something more to the role.

Mary Jane Watson is one of the two great loves of Peter Parker's life, the other being the late Gwen Stacy. But the professional model has been a part of the webslinger's life for far longer, with the couple getting married and Mary Jane getting pregnant (although the pregnancy ended in a tragic stillbirth). Their marriage was also wiped from reality by Mephisto in the controversial One More Day storyline, although they continue to be a part of each other's lives.

Mary Jane was played by Kirsten Dunst from 2002 to 2007 in the three Spider-Man movies directed by Sam Raimi. In the comics, the character was a Caucasian girl with red hair; since Zendaya is half African-American with dark hair, that sound you hear is the grinding of teeth from the more intolerant corners of the online fan world.

Zendaya and Tom Holland as Peter Parker head up a cast that also includes Michael Keaton as the Vulture, Marisa Tomei as Aunt May and Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark, along with Donald Glover, Jacob Batalon, Laura Harrier, Tony Revolori, Tyne Daly and Bokeem Woodbine. Spider-Man: Homecoming will be released on July 7, 2017.

What do you think of Mary Jane returning to the screen and Zendaya playing her?