Surprising news from Camp Spidey, with Entertainment Weekly reporting that Shailene Woodley's Mary Jane Watson has been cut from The Amazing Spider-Man 2. In what can best be described as a 'Terrence Malick moment', Peter Parker's friend and future love interest has been left on the cutting room floor in the second instalment and will instead make her debut in part 3.
The news comes soon after Sony locked The Amazing Spider-Man 3 and 4 onto its schedule for 2016 and 2018 respectively, and is a slightly surprising turns of events. All expectation was for Mary Jane to be debuted, albeit in a small role, next year, prior to a subtantially beefier role when you-know-what happens to you-know-who.
Sanguine but disappointed, Woodley is staying philosophical. "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."
It's a blow for the young actress, so impressive in The Descendants, but she's toplining an adaptation of young adult sci-fi yarn Divergent and will, of course, be a major player in The Amazing Spider-Man 3.
Director Marc Webb offered greater explanation of the decision. "I made a creative decision to streamline the story and focus on Peter and Gwen and their relationship. Shailene is an incredibly talented actress", he added, "and while we only shot a few scenes with Mary Jane, we all love working with her".
With Woodley back on the bench for this one, Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone are reuniting, with Paul Giamatti, Dan DeHaan, Jamie Foxx, Sally Field, Martin Sheen, Marton Csokas, Felicity Jones, B.J. Novak, Colm Feore and Chris Cooper also appearing. It'll be in UK cinemas on April 18, 2014.