By Melissa Silverstein | Women and Hollywood June 19, 2013 at 3:01PM
I noticed on twitter some chatter earlier today about the fact that Shailene Woodley who is about to cover EW with her new film Divergent (which looks like it could be a real successor to The Hunger Games) will no longer be a part of the second Amazing Spiderman movie playing MJ Watson.
Earlier, during filming, Woodley's photos were released, and she is rising star and so it seemed that her character would be central to the plot. It is also worth noting that Sony is investing heavily in the Spiderman franchise (as if we didn't already know that) by setting the release dates for The Amazing Spiderman 3 and 4 for 2016 and 2018.
But back to the 2014 film... We don't know exactly why AN ENTIRE ROLE WAS CUT from the film but one colleague speculated that the movie was overcrowded and couldn't handle another character. Well sure, the film is overcrowded with male villains, as my colleague Scott Mendelson said on twitter. These are the villains slated for the Amazing Spiderman 2: Vulture, Green Goblin, Rhino, Electro.
So the idea we get here is that there can be numerous male villains and other male parts but there really can only be one female character of substance allowed onscreen. God forbid we should take any of the attention away from all the male bonding and fighting going on with our girly words and needs.
So many things piss me off about this, but most especially, how easy it is just delete a whole female character from the film and move her to another film. That just confirms that characters written for women are not integral in the plot and if you cut them, it just won't matter.
I want female characters that matter and that if they are cut it is a problem because then things won't make sense and you can't get away with it.
The irony for me is just recently how Amy Pascal -- whose studio produces and releases the Spiderman films -- talked about the importance of having female characters who are integral to the plot. Here's a reminder of what she said:
The most important thing in the job that we do here is to make movies about women where they are characters that have consequences in the story. They can be villains, they can be protagonists, I don't care but their movements, their actions what they do in the plot has to actually matter. And that's the most important thing because young girls coming up are going to see that they matter that your not an appendage to someone else- that you're not married to the person, not their sister or friend or girlfriend, you actually are the plot.
Sounds like she needs to practice what she preaches.