Comic-book writer, editor, publisher, media producer, television host, actor and former president and chairman of Marvel Comics Stan Lee attends the premiere of the sci-fi motion picture fantasy "Captain America: Civil War" on April 12, 2016. Lee has defended the reported casting of Zendaya as Mary Jane Watson in "Spider-Man: Homecoming" stating "It’ll be absolutely wonderful." File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo
TORONTO, Aug. 25 (UPI) -- Stan Lee has come to the defense of Zendaya following reports that the actress will be portraying Mary Jane Watson in Spider-Man: Homecoming.
"If she is as good an actress as I hear she is, I think it'll be absolutely wonderful," the iconic comic book writer and creator of Spider-Man said to the Toronto Sun Tuesday.
Zendaya's role in Homecoming starring Tom Holland as Spider-Man, was originally billed as Michelle, however, the former Disney channel star was linked to Mary Jane, the web-slinger's iconic red-haired girlfriend last week.
Fan backlash ensued with commentators upset that the traditionally Caucasian character would be portrayed by an African American.
According to Lee, however, a star's race shouldn't matter. "The color of their skin doesn't matter, their religion doesn't matter. All that matters is that this the right person for the role," Lee said.
Lee's comments come after Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn also defended Zendaya, noting on social media "I do not believe a character is the color of his or her skin."
Spider-Man: Homecoming is due in theaters July 7, 2017.