Splitting Hairs

Something’s alway bugged me about the casting of the female leads in the Spider-Man movies: their hair color. I know that there’s a lot more that goes into casting a role besides wether or not an actor naturally looks like the character they’re supposed to be playing and that makeup & various other forms of movie magic can fix any number of physical discrepancies. But the three choices for Spidey’s leading ladies and their respective hair colors always struck me as an odd coincidence.

Peter Parker has two notable loves in his life: Gwen Stacy (blonde), college sweetheart tragically killed by Spidey forgetting how physics works the Green Goblin and Mary Jane Watson (redhead), his loving wife girl he dated/lived with for a few years then split up with for some reason.


When Kirsten Dunst was cast as Mary Jane in 2002’s Spider-Man, the naturally blonde actress dyed her hair red for the part. This was all well and good until 2007’s Spider-Man 3, where Bryce Dallas Howard was thrown in as Gwen Stacy for the sake of having a love triangle. Bryce is the daughter of director Ron Howard, one of the most famous gingers of all time, and has similarly red hair.

It just always seemed odd to me that casting departments picked a blonde to play Mary Jane and a redhead to play Gwen Stacy. To further complicate matters, Emma Stone was cast as Gwen in 2012’s franchise reboot The Amazing Spider-Man. Here’s a picture of Gwen from the movie side by side with Gwen from the comics:

Pretty spot on, right? Well, here’s a side by side comparison of what Emma stone looks like when she’s not in character vs. Mary Jane Watson from the comics:











That’s not just any old panel of MJ. That’s from her first appearance way back in Amazing Spider-Man #42, drawn by John Romita. Who looked at a photo of Emma Stone and decided she’d be perfect for Gwen Stacy? SHE LOOKS LIKE A JOHN ROMITA DRAWN MARY JANE, FOR CHRIST SAKE!!

So please, Amazing Spider-Man sequel producers, can we see about getting an actual redhead to be the new Mary Jane?



  1. Nefersitra beat me to it. Natural Blonde who had admitted to preferring her natural color even when many criticized it. But I do agree she would make a great MJ


    • True, blonde is her natural hair color. But she’s said in an interview she started dying her hair brown at 15 and was told to make it red for Superbad, the first movie she was in, and kept it that way until Spider-Man. So she’s been known as a redhead for pretty much as long as she’s been in the public eye.


  2. The Mary Jane panel represents the real problem with Dunst as Mary Jane. Rushing the introduction of MJ into Spiderman’s life watered the character down to a stereotypical girl next door with none of the fun and fiestiness of the original.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s