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The Most Paused Zendaya Scene In Spider-Man: Homecoming

Notable movies and shows like "Malcolm & Marie" and "Euphoria" have helped Zendaya transform into an icon amongst young celebrities, as well as with present-day pop culture. Her upcoming appearance in Warner Bros.' "Dune" will also help cement her status as Hollywood's new It Girl. But, perhaps, Zendaya's biggest role to date is Michelle, aka MJ, in the new MCU Spider-Man movies. When she is first introduced in 2017's "Spider-Man: Homecoming," Zendaya's version of MJ is an intelligent but introverted high schooler who quickly gains Peter Parker's interest. What begins as a crush in "Homecoming" ends as something more serious by the end of "Spider-Man: Far From Home" when the two begin dating despite the risks involved with Peter's identity as Spider-Man. 

When she was cast as MJ in 2016, Zendaya commented on the character in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, saying, "To me, she is very cool because she's deep. She's always thinking about something, always reading. I like that." MJ's intelligence and book savvy was featured in many "Homecoming" scenes, but there was one, in particular, that was paused and analyzed quite a lot by eager fans. Here's more about one of the most scrutinized Zendaya scenes in the new Spider-Man trilogy.

The novel MJ reads in Spider-Man: Homecoming has a special connection to Peter Parker

In a scene set during gym class at Midtown School of Science and Technology, MJ is shown reading a book: "Of Human Bondage" by W. Somerset Maugham. The 1915 novel was likely picked to be featured in the movie for a key reason that links back to Peter. "Of Human Bondage" is centered around a young orphan, Philip, who is raised by his aunt and uncle (via Goodreads). This detail will sound familiar to Spider-Man fans because, in both the comics and the movies, Peter is also an orphan left to be raised by Aunt May and Uncle Ben. Also,  "Of Human Bondage" actually feels like a novel MJ would find interesting and isn't just a nod to the material.

Redditors noticed the detail early on during the film's release. On the subreddit r/MovieDetails, fans discussed the book's unique tie to Peter and its impact on character development. Commenter r/bloozchicken praised the Easter egg, writing that Peter and MJ seem like a more plausible couple than the versions of the Spider-Man characters in Sam Raimi's "Spider-Man" trilogy because of MJ's intellect: "It's more believable/romantic that a girl with similar interests and social circles would be interested in Parker than just his hot actress neighbor."