Director Jon Watts revealed in an interview that the primary inspirations for Michelle Jones were Allison Reynolds from The Breakfast Club and Lindsay Weir from Freaks and Geeks.
In regards to Michelle Jones' backstory, Chris McKenna and Erik Sommers originally wrote a scene for Spider-Man: Homecoming which heavily implied that Michelle comes from a bad home, with no one to pick up her after classes or meet her at the bus after returning from Washington, D.C., leading Peter Parker and Aunt May to offer her a ride home. Although McKenna and Sommers did not know if the scene was filmed or not, they think that this backstory is alluded by the many things MJ says in Spider-Man: Far From Home.
Michelle Jones is a student at the Midtown School of Science and Technology. She is a classmate of Peter Parker, and is a member of the school's Academic Decathlon team.
Jones called Parker and Ned Leeds losers for staring at Liz Allan for too long. When Leeds asked why she sat at their table, she replied that she didn't have any friends, and returned to reading her book.
Jones read the book Of Human Bondage throughout the entirety of gym class, even while she was supposed to be doing curl-ups.
A member of the Academic Decathlon team, Liz Toomes, threw a party at her house. Jones attended, but when Parker and Ned Leeds arrived, she called them losers for attending. When Leeds pointed out that she was attending the party as well, she gave them a quirky look and said, "am I?"
Jones joined the Academic Decathlon team for the field trip to Washington, D.C. to participate in the finals. She questioned Mr. Harrington on the timetable for the trip because she wanted to get in some light protesting while in the nation's capital. She correctly answered the last question of the Decathlon, winning the competition for the team. On the way to Washington, Parker and Leeds noticed increased activity around the damaged Triskelion structure, with Jones explaining that Damage Control was still cleaning up the mess after Captain America caused the Helicarriers to crash for seemingly no reason. While Leeds states that he did it to save them, Jones rebuffs him and declares that this is what they want the public to think.
After the Decathlon, Mr. Harrington took them to the Washington Monument. Jones refused to go up to the top, not wanting to visit a building that had been built by slaves. While she waited at the bottom, an explosion at the top trapped her teammates in the monument's elevator. When Spider-Man arrived, Jones informed him that her friends were in the elevator. Spider-Man successfully saved the trapped Academic Decathlon team.
Jones sat next to Parker when he was issued a detention for attempting to skip class. After Parker left, Coach Wilson asked Jones why she was there, as she did not have detention. Jones answered that she enjoyed sketching people in crisis, and showed him a drawing she'd made of him.
Following the revelation that Liz Toomes' father was the Vulture, she was forced to move to Oregon with her mother. In the wake of her leaving, Jones was made the captain of the team. She told her teammates that her friends called her "MJ". When Peter received a message and had to leave, Jones looked at him with suspicion and asked what was he up to. She then laughed and told him she was kidding and that she did not care. Shortly after that, she was being interviewed by Betty Brant, an anchor on the school's news team, as to who she thought Spider-Man might truly be. Jones replied that she wasn't sure but that she had her suspicions.
While she does not appear in this film, she is revealed to have been among the half of the universe that was disintegrated by Thanos offscreen.
While she also does not appear in this film, she is resurrected offscreen by the Hulk.
In Far From Home, MJ has shown to have grown closer with Peter and Ned, along with Betty, showing character development and has tried to make friends. During the 2023-2024 school year, MJ developed romantic feelings for Peter and vice versa. She plans on exploring the counties along with her friends, whilst Peter tries to tell MJ her how he feels. MJ is the center of Peter's affection as well as his romantic rival Brad Davis, but MJ shows no interest in Brad.
After the battle in London, Michelle finds an injured Peter on the bridge where she embraces him. The teens check on each other's safety and she tells him she brought a weapon to help him fight Mysterio. MJ shows Peter the Black Dahlia necklace that Happy gave her (on Peter's behalf) and he expresses that he wanted to win her over with his plan. Touched, Michelle kisses Peter and tells him that she struggles to get close to people which is why she lied about only watching him because of his alter ego. Peter apologises to MJ for the necklace being broken and she assures him she likes it better broken. Michelle and Peter express their feelings for each other with their first kiss and they return to New York as a couple.
When they return home, Peter takes MJ on a swing around New York for their first date. Although MJ is looking forward to it at first, her mind changes during the swing where she is seen screaming her way around the city and soon asks Peter to put her down.
After their swing, MJ tells Peter she never wants to do it again as it scared her too much. The couple end their date with Peter waving to the people of New York, but things get out of hand when Michelle and Peter watch the breaking news on the Bugle news. Michelle and Peter watch on and she is left horrified to learn that her boyfriend has been framed for the attacks Mysterio caused back in London, a week prior.
Michelle will return in Spider-Man 3 and be continuing her relationship with Peter Parker. Rumors point that MJ will be joining Peter while he is on the run - they will be on the run together. According to behind the scenes images, MJ will be working in a bakery during the Christmas season.
- In the comics, the nickname "MJ" is used by Mary Jane Watson. However, both Kevin Feige and Amy Pascal had stated that Michelle Jones is not Mary Jane Watson and the MJ initials were just a fun homage to Spider-Man's past adventures and his past love in the comics.
- Jones' birthday being June 10th is a reference to Amazing Spider-Man Vol. 1 #25, where Mary Jane Watson made her first appearance and was released on June 10, 1965.
- Michelle's birthday is exactly 2 months before Peter's, which is August 10, 2001. They are the only characters in their friend group to have their birthday's known and revealed.
- In the second film, MJ has shown to have warmed up to making friends and is more confident than she was in the first movie.
- She managed to figure out about Peter's double life as Spider-Man in the first movie.
- MJ is Peter's main love interest and girlfriend in the second film. This is a nod to Mary Jane - the original MJ - being Peter's main love interest in the Sam Rami trilogy.
- Both Michelle and Mary Jane started dating Peter in the second movie and continue their relationship in the third.
- Michelle describes herself as observant.
- Michelle has never been able to admit her feelings about anything as she struggles to get close to people, as stated in Spider-Man: Far From Home, which is why she often made fun of Peter in Spider-Man: Homecoming, even though she liked him and lied to him about watching him because she thought he was Spider-Man. Michelle did like Peter from the start, but was too afraid to act on her feelings, especially since he liked Liz Tommes in the first movie.
- Although her surname is Jones, her passport in Spider-Man: Far From Home just says Michelle.
- Michelle shares similarities to Megara from Hercules. - They both were very much loners and struggled to make friends as well as both stating they didn't have any friends when they introduced themselves to their eventual lovers. They both have a cocky-type personality and both go by their nicknames - MJ for Michelle and Meg for Megara - even saying similar dialogue - that their friends call them by the nicknames if they had friends at that point. They both then start to warm up to the protaganists and bring out a warmer, more friendly and true in love side to themselves.
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- "Tom Holland's Spider-Man 3: Marvel Casting Filipina Actress For Ned Leeds Relative (Exclusive)". The Direct (November 24, 2020).
- "New look at Spider-Man 3 filming with Tom Holland and Zendaya confirms Christmas setting". Digital Spy (January 18, 2021).
- Spider-Man: Homecoming Producers Say Twist to That Character Not What It Seems