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Oh Wait: Mary Jane Watson Being Completely Recast For 'Spider-Man'; Sandra Bullock Out Of 'Annie'

by Kevin Jagernauth
June 19, 2013 3:11 PM
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Shailene Woodley Mary Jane Watson Spiderman

So yeah, here are some near shocking casting updates, both of which are surprising for various reasons....

First, it turns out that Shailene Woodley isn't just being bumped from "The Amazing Spider-Man 2" -- she's out of the franchise entirely. WTF. Indeed, hot on the heels of the news that her character, Mary Jane Watson was having her scenes removed from the super sequel, THR reports that when "The Amazing Spider-Man 3" rolls around, "It is likely that Woodley will not return and that the part will be recast." Great work everyone!

Why it makes sense in anyone's mind to let go of a rising actress like Woodley, who has the award-winning "The Spectacular Now" coming later this summer and her own franchise with "Divergent" next year, is beyond us (though maybe some studio types were worried about her appearing in two big blockbusters for rival companies). But the official line being given by director Marc Webb is that they want to simplify the plot. No, really. 

"I made a creative decision to streamline the story and focus on Peter and Gwen and their relationship," Webb said in a statement. "Shailene is an incredibly talented actress and while we only shot a few scenes with Mary Jane, we all love working with her.” Granted, she only worked a few days on the movie, apparently, but you don't hire an actress of her quality without larger plans in mind. Like everything else that's going on in this series (which includes multiple characters being added -- so much for streamlining), decisions seems to be happening in a run-and-gun manner. Anyway, let the speculation on Mary Jane Watson begin...again....

Meanwhile, remember when Sandra Bullock was close to signing to play the mean Miss Hanningan in the "Annie" remake? Well, The Wrap reports it ain't happening, as talks fell through. So we'll just have to wait and see who Will Smith and Jay-Z get instead for their redo starring Quvenzhané Wallis and Jamie Foxx.

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  • sagevalentine | June 21, 2013 3:09 PMReply

    Why is Sandra out of Annie? That sucks.

    I can understand that this is an issue as far as scheduling for Shailene but, damn to cut her out completely. That sucks even more.

    Who is Sarah Gadon?

  • FS | June 20, 2013 2:20 PMReply

    As a note, TASM 2 seems to have it's plot plate full, so losing a Mary Jane storyline may very well be a smart move. With 2 main villain stories (the Rhino and Electro), a villain-in-the-making (Harry Osborn), and the existing Gwen Stacy story line to juggle, do we really need more in a 2-2.5 hr movie?

  • Jake | June 19, 2013 6:33 PMReply

    So it made sense to have Mary Jane already established in Peter's life if they plan to kill Gwen at the end/start of the second, now they'll just have to establish a whole new relationship when he has to pick up the pieces, which could get messier. But then again they did just put the kibbosh on this go round being 3 parts when they announced a fourth one, so they have more time to build that up. I like Woodley a lot, but her age shows against the older 'young' cast members so perhaps it will work out in the end, even if the origin of all this is pretty weird.

  • rodie | June 19, 2013 6:24 PMReply

    Look, Back to the Future switched its LEAD actor after like 6 weeks of shooting, and that turned out fine. I'm sure Mary Jane was a small subplot in this movie anyway. Getting rid of her and saving the character for part 3 is a great indication that they are streamlining this story. I'm actually more interested to see it now.

  • Jordan | June 19, 2013 5:10 PMReply

    Woodley is one of the best young actresses out there. Do not understand this at all! We all know the fate Gwen's heading to. So, what happened? Felicity Jones' character will be the new love interest?!

  • ska-triumph | June 19, 2013 4:18 PMReply

    So.... the studio quickly announces plans for TWO more movies and don't bother to lock in their MARY JANE actor? So one (overly convenient) female lead - again. This "streamlining" is BS. Wasn't one of the problems with Raimi's SM3 was that there were two many villains, and there's FOUR lined up for TASM 2? Yeah okay. Their loss.

  • oogle monster | June 19, 2013 4:13 PMReply

    But really... who wanted this franchise to succeed? TASM was complete shit save for Emma Stone's charm and screen presence. I don't know WHY the studio greenlight 3 & 4 but so many other films can't even find $$.

  • Mooks | June 19, 2013 7:50 PM

    Why? So they can keep the rights and further produce even more TASM shite.

  • Marko | June 19, 2013 4:04 PMReply

    I'm still confused as to how THR suddenly comes to the conclusion that the role is being recasted in the next film.

  • Real | June 19, 2013 3:45 PMReply

    And nothing of value was lost...

    I thought it was kind of a stupid idea to have MJ in the second movie anyway. Even if there is no attraction/romance between them it belittles the Gwen/Peter relationship in its own movie to have MJ featured in the background when everyone knows their future together while at the same time selling the big romance between Gwen and Peter.

  • a guy named joe | June 19, 2013 3:36 PMReply

    Wait a sec... They kicked Woodley out of Spider-Man 2 midway during shooting? Are you serious? I've heard of actors being left on the editing room floor, but getting rid of a character during shooting seems like a pretty cheesy move, regardless of how you spin it.

  • kitcon | June 19, 2013 3:32 PMReply

    The Spider-man - Gwen Stacy scenes were the best part of TASM. If this decision means they're sticking with that love story til the end that's fine w/ me

  • bapi | June 19, 2013 3:28 PMReply

    It's like with Peter's different origin in TASM... Fans hate that / her and Sony is scared.

  • Mr Anonymous | June 19, 2013 3:26 PMReply

    Wow, this just gets better and better.

    This is going to be a collosal fuck-up on a grand scale. Mark my words! Another Spiderman 3 disaster on the horizon. Can't wait to hear what else they've fucked up.

  • Chris | June 19, 2013 3:15 PMReply

    I hope those horrible fanboys who said Woodley wasn't pretty enough to play MJ had no influence on this.

  • Joel | June 19, 2013 5:01 PM

    Speak for yourself. I'm a fanboy who complained about her casting. Because she look "way too young" to be MJ. And she look "way to young" to be a love interest for Andrew Garfield.

    Them changing her this late in the game. Is a clear indication that the Producers realized that also. I'm happy about this news. Nothing against Shailene Woodley.

  • Mentallo | June 19, 2013 3:52 PM

    Re: Fembot: The fanboys' point was that MJ is supposed to be "a supermodel" in the comics, and Shailene isn't hot enough.

    IMO, that's kind of stupid point. Characters in superhero comics aren't supposed to look like 'real people'. I'm surprised the fanboys didn't complain that Ian McKellen isn't a huge beefcake like comicbook version of Magneto.

  • fembot | June 19, 2013 3:32 PM

    Not sure what point you're trying to make. Shailene and Emma are both "cute" and relatable. Neither are fembots like Michael Bay roles.

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