UPDATE: It seems like the rumor about Zendaya playing Michelle Toomes – the daughter of Michael Keaton’s Adrian Toomes, aka the Vulture – in Spider-Man: Homecoming is not true after all. According to Screen Rant, Michelle’s last name is not mentioned in any of the ten chapters of the junior novelization. The original article is as follows.
Just under a year ago, we came across a rumor suggesting that Zendaya's Spider-Man: Homecoming character was none other than iconic Spider-Man love interest Mary Jane Watson. At that time, the actress denied that she’d play MJ or a love interest of any kind. She even went so far as to promise that her character in the movie was "100 percent Michelle", but many suspected that she might be trying to mislead us so we’d be surprised when we saw the movie on July 7, 2017.
However, the junior novelization of Spider-Man: Homecoming (via Comic Book) reveals exactly who Zendaya's character is and how important she is within the plot. There’s a pretty big SPOILER coming, so stop reading right now, unless you’re immune to spoilers. YOU HAVE BEEN WARNED!
Still reading? This indicates that you don’t mind learning the truth right now, so here it is! Zendaya is not MJ in the Jon Watts flick. The book reveals that the character's full name is Michelle Toomes, which means that Michelle is the daughter of Michael Keaton's Adrian Toomes, aka the Vulture!
This explains why Zendaya is so visible in the promotional materials for the movie. Although she’s not playing MJ or a love interest, she has a major role. Not only is she Peter Parker’s classmate, she’s the main antagonist’s daughter. This makes it easier for us to relate to the Vulture and understand the desperation that drives him to villainy. He has a daughter to provide for, and he’ll go to any length to accomplish the task.
It also demonstrates that the supervillain wasn’t just making empty threats when he said he’d kill Peter Parker and everyone he loved if he didn’t back off. Family values and relationships have been key players in the webslinger's mythos, and it makes sense that they would be in Spider-Man: Homecoming, too.