In a move that will likely stir up some Internet controversy then ultimately amount to very little, Amazing Spider-Man star Andrew Garfield has announced he’d like to see his character fall in love with a man. Specifically, he’d like to see Peter Parker and Spidey’s iconic love interest, Mary Jane, reimagined as a male character. In an interview with Entertainment Weekly Garfield details a conversation he had with producer Matt Tolmach, saying, “I was kind of joking, but kind of not joking about MJ. 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?”
With the news that The Amazing Spider-Man 2 will no longer feature Shailene Woodley as Mary Jane, and rumors that the role may be recast altogether, Garfield’s far-fetched idea doesn’t seem quite as far-fetched. (All right, it still seems pretty far-fetched.) Garfield has also helpfully suggested Michael B. Jordan for Spider-Man’s male love interest, saying, “I’ve been obsessed with Michael B. Jordan since The Wire. He’s so charismatic and talented. It’d be even better—we’d have interracial bisexuality!”
This isn’t the first time there has been discussion about adapting the character of Peter Parker to speak to a more modern audience. Donald Glover inspired an Internet campaign to cast him as the webslinger in the 2012 reboot (the role that eventually went to Garfield). In a 2011 interview with Hard Knock TV, Glover explains how he received a lot of backlash just for suggesting that a poor kid from Queens who lives with his aunt and uncle would be played by a person of color, and speaks eloquently about the need for minority representation onscreen.
Anyway, while it’s highly doubtful Sony would change the sexuality of its flagship superhero, it’s nice to hear a high-profile star campaigning for a little more diversity in a major movie franchise.