12:19 pm EDT, June 19, 2013

Shailene Woodley’s Mary Jane Watson cut from ‘Amazing Spider-Man 2,’ moving to ‘Spider-Man 3’

On the heels of Sony announcing The Amazing Spider-Man 3 and 4 are a go, we’re now learning that Shailene Woodley’s Mary Jane Watson has been cut from 2.

Woodley filmed several scenes for The Amazing Spider-Man 2 this past March in New York City alongside Emma Stone and Andrew Garfield.

News of Woodley’s Mary Jane plot line being pushed to a future Amazing Spider-Man movie first surfaced in Entertainment Weekly’s cover story on Divergent Wednesday morning. A scan from the interview with the actress, which hits newsstands Friday, revealed the news.

Woodley was understandably disappointed by the decision, telling EW via e-mail, “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.”

Presumably when the time came to decide on future Amazing Spider-Man movies, Sony and producers looked at what stories they can tell in 3 and 4 and wanted to introduce Mary Jane at a later time to focus more on her.

We presume they’ll be asking Woodley to come back for at least one of the future movies so that they can shoot additional scenes.

But what if Woodley is unavailable because of filming future Divergent movies and/or other projects? We could imagine Mary Jane Watson being recast with a new actress if Woodley’s schedule doesn’t allow for more filming.

In the original Spider-Man trilogy in which Kirsten Dunst played Mary Jane, we watched as she and Peter Parker attempted to forge a relationship. In Spider-Man 3, their relationship reaches the point where Peter decides he wants to propose to her.

Considering the first movie trilogy had a 3-movie arc for Mary Jane, perhaps Amazing Spider-Man 3 and 4 will compress that plot line into a 2-movie arc (or stretch to a potential Amazing Spider-Man 5).

Update: Director Marc Webb has released a statement which explains the reasons behind Shailene Woodley’s character being cut: “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.”

Could this mean that Shailene Woodley won’t be returning for The Amazing Spider-Man 3? We’re not sure, but director Marc Webb’s final words sounded like somewhat of a send off.

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 release date is set for April 17, 2014.

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