We thought Shailene Woodley's removal from The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and any future sequels was a done deal. But that's not the case, as Sony Pictures has never confirmed the actress has been relieved of her contractual obligations. It's still entirely possible that Shailene Woodley will return as Mary Jane Watson in The Amazing Spider-Man 3. Woodley can't confirm or deny that she'll be back in some capacity, but from the way she tells it at this point, its highly unlikely. Especially since Summit Entertainment recently picked up two sequels to her upcoming young adult novel adaptation Divergent.
Here's what she had to say while doing press for her indie drama The Fault in Our Stars at this year's Sundance Film Festival.
"Andrew (Garfield) kills it. I don't know anything, but seeing as how they picked up the next two Divergent films, I don't know how I'd keep my sanity with two big action films in one year. But, anything can happen, so..."
She seems optimist without being optimistic at all. Last year, Shailene Woodley revealed that her Mary Jane Watson character had been completely cut from The Amazing Spider-Man 2, hinting that her introduction was being held off until The Amazing Spider-Man 3.
The day after that news broke, it was rumored that the character may be re-cast altogether, although that has never been confirmed by anyone involved with the production. It's odd that she plays coy with this most recent statement, since she already revealed at Comic-Con 2013 that it "wouldn't make sense" for her to come back as Mary Jane Watson in The Amazing Spider-Man 3. Perhaps Sony, which has come under scrutiny for the possibility that they fired Shailene Woodley for not being attractive enough for the role, is trying to work around her schedule for the Divergent sequels.
However, even if that is the case, it still may not work.
The production schedule on the Divergent sequels is very tight, with Insurgent set for release on March 20, 2015 and Allegiant scheduled to bring the franchise to a close on March 18, 2016. We reported last month that Divergent director Neil Burger is not directing Insurgent because he will be finishing post-production on the first film as they begin production on the sequel. With The Amazing Spider-Man 3 set for release on June 10, 2016, it seems unlikely that the actress will be able to fit this superhero follow-up into her busy schedule.
We reported in June that Canadian actress Sarah Gadon (Antiviral, Dracula) was re-cast as Mary Jane Watson, although that has never been confirmed by Sony Pictures. It was confirmed that the actres had joined the cast, but reports on who she is playing have been varied and none too clear. Another report from June revealed that the footage already shot by Shailene Woodley, which amounts to three scenes and less than ten minutes of runtime, will likely never be seen, even on the Blu-ray and DVD release.
It has been widely speculated that Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone), the love interest of Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield), will be killed off in The Amazing Spider-Man 2, which will serve as a transition to the Mary Jane Watson era in the franchise. Of course, that hasn't been confirmed either, although we did see photos from the set where Emma Stone was wearing the same outfit that Gwen Stacy wore when she was killed off in the Marvel comic books.