There was a lot made out of Shailene Woodley's dismissal from The Amazing Spider-Man 2. Some fans still believe that she was fired because of online pressure over her being miscast. Now, as international audiences and stateside press get a look at this sequel, they believe director Marc Webb made the right decision when he left the actress' performance on the cutting room floor. Not because she turned in a bad acting job, or because she wasn't sexy enough to play the future model wife of Peter Parker. But simply because this is one sequel that is stuffed to the brim with characters and plot. One more story thread may have made the whole thing explode like Mr. Creosote eating an after-dinner thin mint. Even so, fans are still interested to know what those few scenes involving Mary Jane consisted of, and how they tied into the plot as it now plays out on screen.
You might want to stop reading now, as the rest of this story contains a MAJOR SPOILER! for audiences unfamiliar with the comic book arc The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is based on.
According to Marc Webb, Shailene Woodley's few precious scenes were gutted as a means to keep the focus on Peter Parker and Gwen Stacy's growing relationship. As in the comic books, Gwen does die in the sequel, and having Mary Jane added to the mix would have distracted from the shock and pain of that important moment in Parker's history as a character.
The director reveals there were only two scenes, and explains where and how they would have squeezed into the already bloated storyline.
"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. 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."
You'll notice Webb is careful to praise his fired actress. When asked if she will return for The Amazing Spider-Man 3 in 2016, he relies on the old standby Divergent excuse to explain why she won't return.
"Divergent is a massive hit and I think it's going to be tricky for schedules."
That's an easy out for Sony, as they will surely announce a new Mary Jane in the very near future. Multiple insiders claim that Shailene Woodley was given the boot because producers felt she had been miscast. Even without Divergent and its next three sequels, Shailene Woodley was never going to be asked back for future installments. Its not even known if Mary Jane will appear in the next sequel, as Felicity Jones has already started laying the ground work for Felicia Hardy (aka Black Cat)'s relationship with Peter Parker in The Amazing Spider-Man 3. Giving Peter a second new girlfriend helps distance it from Sam Raimi's original trilogy, which has obviously been the plan all along.
Do you want to see Mary Jane in The Amazing Spider-Man 3? Or would you rather the focus stay on Felicia Hardy?