'Amazing Spider-Man 2' Shocker: Mary Jane Watson Cut From the Film

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Fox Searchlight/Sony Pictures

The lightning bolts coming out of Electro's fingers aren't the only things shocking on the set of 'Amazing Spider-Man 2.' Despite filming on the 'Amazing Spider-Man 2' set for a few weeks earlier this spring, actress Shailene Woodley (who signed on to play Peter Parker's future love interest, Mary Jane Watson) has been cut from the film entirely. So ... what exactly happened? Some spoilers ahead as we explain ...

Mary Jane was all set to be introduced to audiences in 'Amazing Spider-Man 2,' setting up her eventual romance with Peter Parker in 'Amazing Spider-Man 3.' Woodley filmed several weeks with both Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone, but now all her scenes will be cut from the film and her first appearance will instead take place in 'Amazing Spider-Man 3.' Woodley told Entertainment Weekly:

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.

That proposed plot is the "Death of Gwen Stacy" storyline that is the focus of 'Amazing Spider-Man 2.' Because producers and director Marc Webb wanted her death to pack a major emotional punch, they decided to focus all of Spidey's emotional attention in the film on Gwen.

Said Webb in a statement:

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.

It's disappointing for Woodley, who will have to go back and reshoot all the footage she had already shot (they obviously won't be able to use any of the footage of Mary Jane and Gwen together). [UPDATE - The Hollywood Reporter states that Woodley "will not return" for 'Amazing Spider-Man 3' and that the role will be recast.]

But the move actually makes sense for the film. What was the point in introducing Mary Jane in 'Amazing Spider-Man 2'? The film was already loaded up with characters from Electro to Rhino to Green Golbin to Harry Osborn and even (reportedly) Vulture. The Peter Parker/Mary Jane relationship is too important to be half-assed.

But, it also seems to hint that they're making a lot of this up as they go. It's rare that you see a major supporting character completely excised from a film, and it's hard to believe that only now did they realize it was too much to try and shoehorn her into this picture.

'Amazing Spider-Man 2' hits theaters on May 2, and Mary Jane will return in 'Amazing Spider-Man 3,' coming June 10, 2016. Woodley can be seen next this summer in 'The Spectacular Now.'

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