The Amazing Spider-Man 2 was already a packed film. It has Electro (Jamie Foxx), The Rhino (Paul Giamatti), Harry Osbourne (Dane DeHaan), Norman Osbourne (Chris Cooper) — with mixed word if the Green Goblin shows up or not — and possibly Black Cat (Felicity Jones) on top of Peter Parker/Spider-Man (Andrew Garfield) and Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone). Something had to give, and it appears that it was the role of Mary Jane Watson, and Shailene Woodley‘s performance.
Director Marc Webb issued a statement saying “I made a creative decision to streamline the story and focus on Peter and Gwen and their relationship. Shailene is an incredibly talented actress and while we only shot a few scenes with Mary Jane, we all love working with her.” The Hollywood Reporter suggests that she won’t be in the third film and that the role will be recast.
To put this in a better context, Woodley had only shot for three days, and her role was more of a set up for the sequels… yes, sequels as they’ve recently announced two more Spider-Man films. If the film follows the comic-book arc of “The Death of Gwen Stacy” (which it seems is what they’re planning on doing), there’s enough here to guarantee that she won’t be missed.
But some have also guessed that Woodley is currently working on Divergent, and that film has plans to be the next The Hunger Games. Woodley is a wanted actress, so this may have been done for the benefit of everyone involved. And as a decision made almost a year in advance of the release of The Amazing Spider-Man 2, it’s not like this is a last minute decision, or something foisted on the filmmakers because of test screenings. But we’ll know for sure when Spider-Man 2 swings into theaters May 2.
Hey Tiger, who would you like to see playing Mary Jane Watson?