Did you know that The Amazing Spider-Man 2 was to feature Divergent star Shailene Woodley as Mary Jane Watson? She had filmed a scene, but was later cut from the movie. Why exactly was she cut and how would she have fit into the movie? Director Marc Webb reveals all.
WARNING: Potential spoilers ahead.
Talking with Movies.com, Webb said the following:
There was one little scene at the beginning where she is next door and it took place right around the montage where he comes back and there was another little moment between Gwen and MJ.
Webb went onto explain why MJ was cut from the film:
But it just tipped over. The relationship between them [Peter and Gwen] is so sacred and so powerful, that it just didn’t feel right. And it sucks because Shailene is such a f**king great actress and so cool and magical but it was just about having this obligation to this romance that I thought was sacred. It was just one of those things.
Having just seen an early screening of The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and feeling like I just walked out of 5 movies in one (nobody can claim there wasn’t enough going on in this film), I can see why she was cut from the final edit. Outside of the excessive and unfettered narratives, the relationship between Spidey and Gwen Stacy is the staple of the movie (Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone ARE magic together). Especially with something dramatic that happens at end, that otherwise wouldn’t have sold had the two characters not had such a strong bond. This was one of the only things Marc Webb got right – have to give props to Webb for making character decisions with Gwen and Peter. But, honestly, there was so much going on in the film already that it really wouldn’t have mattered. It’s not like a cameo of MJ would have been the feather to topple over the pile of trash. Oh – and apologies for two bits of personal inflection – it is trash. A big heaping pile of it. There just happens to be a few quality things that dumpster divers would find as a score.
So, while Woodley was never meant to have a substantial role in The Amazing Spider-Man 2, might she get her moment in the sun in the 3rd movie? Maybe, but it’s doubtful. Webb is not optimistic, stating that “Divergent is a massive hit and I think it’s going to be tricky for schedules”
Trueblood’s Deborah Ann Woll
Obviously, I don’t care for the TASM films so I’m biased. But, I never thought Woodley made for a good Mary Jane anyway. I actually thought Emma Stone would have been the obviously choice, but they went and made her Gwen instead. Woodley is cute, but in a rural girl next door kind of way. Mary Jane, as seen in the comics, has always been presented as a bombshell. A woman so out of Peter Parker’s league but he catches her in his web anyway. It’s the idea that nerds CAN get the top girl. I don’t see that in Woodley. Personally, I could see someone like True Blood‘s Deborah Ann Woll. She, I think, would be the perfect MJ!
One thing is for certain, MJ will appear in one form or another. Webb says the character will “absolutely” show up in the franchise, adding, – SPOILER – “The question, of course, is can Peter ever love again. And that will be something we have to address”.
In addition to MJ, we may actually see a little somethin somethin’ with Spider-Man fling Felicia Hardy, a.k.a Black Cat. Actress Felicity Jones had a small role in TASM as Felicia. One would think her character would get developed more in upcoming movies. Unfortunately, Webb didn’t give way to any Felicia/Peter romance. Saying:
In the comic books, yes. Who knows what’s going to happen with that in the future. But there are a few possibilities we’re exploring but in terms of theme, that’s certainly an interesting thing to play with.
I just wanna know, at what point do these characters get interesting?
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 opens this weekend.