Farewell to Marvel’s Muse – Vanity Fair

On this blessed Friday, treat yourself to this audio of Blue Ivy freestyling on a bonus track from her dad’s latest album, 4:44.

Yohana Desta here today, avoiding the rainy New York weather to bring you the latest in Zendaya appreciation and some sad news about Joan Lee.

REST IN PEACE

Sad news today from the Marvel world. Joan Lee, the former model, author, and wife of comic-book legend Stan Lee, died Thursday in Los Angeles. She was 93. She had suffered a stroke earlier in the week, according to Rebecca Rubin of Variety. A spokesperson for the family released the following statement: “I can confirm the sad news that Joan Lee passed away this morning quietly and surrounded by her family. The family ask that you please give them time to grieve and respect their privacy during this difficult time.” Joan was a known entity in the Marvel world, serving as inspiration for Stan’s Fantastic Four series and making a small cameo in X-Men: Apocalypse. She was also an author, writing the novel The Pleasure Place in 1987. She and Stan married in 1947. She is survived by her husband and their daughter, Joan Celia.

THE SWAN KING

Luca Guadagnino wants to be the king of ballet movies. Not only did he recently wrap up a star-studded remake of Suspiria, the 70s-era ballet horror classic, but it turns out he also recently signed on to make a live-action version of Swan Lake starring Felicity Jones. Rebecca Ford of The Hollywood Reporter has the scoop, writing that several studios, including Universal, Paramount, and TriStar have put in bids for the hot property. The film won’t be a straightforward ballet adaptation per se but rather a feature inspired by the story told within the famous ballet—about a princess who gets turned into a swan by a cruel sorcerer. The script will be written by Kristina Lauren Anderson (Catherine the Great). As long as this movie brings us the same amount of dramatic meme and gif-ability as Darren Aronofsky’s Black Swan, I’m all in.

WHAT IS YOUR DAMAGE?

VF.com’s Hillary Busis e-mails:

The Selma Blairaissance is upon us! One year after lighting up screens in far too few scenes of The People v. O.J. Simpson: American Crime Story—in which she played a note-perfect Kris Jenner—the erstwhile Cruel Intentions and Legally Blonde star has landed another headline-grabbing role: a recurring part in Heathers, a TV series based on the classic 1988 dark comedy that will air on the Paramount Network—the channel formerly known as Spike TV—in 2018. Blair broke the news with an intriguing Instagram shot showing her in character as Jade, i.e. the “gold-digging stepmother to Heather Duke,” according to Deadline’s Denise Petski. TV’s been attempting to reboot Heathers for nearly a decade—there were adaptations in the works at Fox in 2009 and at Bravo in 2012—but perhaps this 10-episode anthology take will be the one that sticks. After all, it’s the only one that also managed to snag a guest appearance from original Heather Shannen Doherty.

CHARITABLE STEWART-SHIP

VF.com’s Laura Bradley e-mails:

Jon Stewart fans, rejoice: for one night only, you can catch the comedian on a new network: ESPN (yes, that ESPN). In his post-Daily Show life, Stewart has been a relatively rare sight on TV—but on Friday, ESPN viewers are in for a rare, if unexpected, treat. The comedian will host SportsCenter live from Chicago’s United Center, where Stewart and “Face to Face” host Hannah Storm will broadcast live from the Warrior Games. Stewart attended the sports event—which this year will feature 265 ill, injured, and wounded armed-services members—last year. Stewart realized that an event like this should be broadcast live: “It was great, but it was [just] the athletes, their families, their caregivers, and it felt like something that the public should be involved in,” he told The Chicago Tribune. “On the way home, I was saying, ‘This is where the cameras should be, this would be perfect for ESPN.’ And my son just said, ‘Well, why don’t you call them?’ ”

MOMENT OF APPRECIATION

Can we talk about how great Zendaya is in Spider-Man: Homecoming for a moment? She’s so good! She plays Michelle, a brooding outcast with perfect comedic timing, a role that is equal parts homage to Daria and The Breakfast Club. I wrote a quick tribute to the fun performance for VF.com, a performance that made a lasting impact despite Zendaya’s precious little screen time (if you add up all her scenes, it would probably amount to less than 10 minutes). I also dive into what her role means for future Spider-Man films—so don’t click that link if you haven’t seen the movie yet. Just pocket it for later, then come back and join the conversation about how Zendaya should definitely add more comedies to her slate.

FAMILIAR FACES

Also on that Spider-Man wave: VF.com’s Joanna Robinson took a deep dive on the movie’s various baddies. Who exactly are these guys, and why does Homecoming take such special care to point them out to us? Will Donald Glover have a bigger part to play in future films? It goes without saying, but this post is also full of spoilers, so make sure to check it out after seen the film. I bet Joanna will answer some questions you didn’t even think to ask.

That’s it for the week! Send your tips and favorite Heathers lines to yohana_desta@condenast.com. Follow me on Twitter @yohanadesta.

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