Shailene Woodley Will NOT Appear In 'The Amazing Spider-Man 2' After All

shailene woodley, mary jane watson, marvel comics,the amazing spiderman 2
Shailene Woodley - Mary Jane Watson (Marvel Comics)
Okay, so yesterday I posted the big news that The Amazing Spider-Man franchise had reserved opening dates for 2 more movies. That means the current incarnation of Spidey will have a total of 4 movies, including TASM2 - set to open in May of 2014. I thought that'd be the biggest Spidey-related story of the week, but nooo. Lo and behold, later in the day more Spidey news hit the interwebs!

Entertainment Weekly reported in its latest issue that Shailene Woodley would not be appearing as Mary Jane Watson in TASM2. This news is a pretty big deal because fans were expecting MJ to play a key part in the story. Woodley told EW how she felt about the change in the film -

“Of course I’m bummed, but I am a firm believer in everything happening for a specific reason… Based on the proposed plot, I completely understand the need for holding off on introducing [Mary Jane] until the next film.”

Director Marc Webb explained to The Hollywood Reporter why he made the decision to cut Woodley's scenes from TASM2 -

“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.”

Mary Jane gets married to Peter. Cover to The ...
Mary Jane gets married to Peter. Cover to The Amazing Spider-Man vol. 1 Annual #21. Art by John Romita Sr. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
THR went on to speculate that it didn't think Woodley would return for The Amazing Spider-Man 3 - set to open on June 10, 2016. I'm not sure why that is, but it might just be a scheduling conflict - Woodley is very much in demand and has several projects going.

WTF is going on???

This episode is a bit of a head-scratcher, if you ask me.

Everyone involved is being cordial and polite about Woodley's departure from the movie, but is what we were told the real story? It just strikes me as odd that Webb would actually go to the trouble of casting Woodley, doing all the legal stuff to get her signed on, and film 3 scenes with her, only to cut her out.

Is Webb changing huge chunks of the screenplay on-the-fly? It sure seems that way if this news is any indication. It looks like once you get to this stage of the production you'd already know what's going to happen in the movie. Am I wrong?

I don't know a lot about the inner-workings of the movie business, but one thing I do know is that studios hate losing money. You have to wonder how much Sony spent on those Woodley scenes that apparently will never be used. I'm willing to bet Webb had a lot of explaining to do when he decided - in the middle of filming - to cut a fan-favorite character. It all strikes me as most peculiar.

It'll be interesting to see how this Mary Jane Watson situation unfolds in the third and fourth installments of the franchise. How big of a part will MJ play in the plot? Who will replace Woodley? Will the movies follow the comic book storyline (and the first movie trilogy) and see Peter Parker and MJ fall in love?

What's your take?

As always, sound off with your own theories, speculations, and wild-ass guesses.
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