Confirmed: Shailene Woodley Not Returning for Amazing Spider-Man 3
When Shailene Woodley's scenes were cut from "The Amazing Spider-Man 2," many fans were hoping that she would reprise the role in the next sequel. But then, when she was cast as the protagonist in the YA sensation "Divergent," it seemed less likely that her schedule would allow her to return. Now, in the July issue of Vanity Fair, she has confirmed that she will not return as Peter Parker's love interest, Mary Jane Watson, as a result of her busy filming schedule for the "Divergent" sequels. There are reports that the role will be recast, but there has been no official confirmation nor any word on potential contenders.
In the Vanity Fair interview, Woodley also opened up regarding her initial reaction to being cut from the Marvel superhero sequel: "For a few hours it was literally like, 'Oh, my God, was I awful? Why did they cut me? What are people going to think?' I woke up the next morning and I was like, 'O.K., it makes total sense.' I'm a pretty spiritual person, so I can just sit back and trust that everything happens for a reason, even if my ego doesn't like it."
In May, "Amazing Spider-Man 2" director Marc Webb gave an explanation for cutting Woodley's scenes: "Shailene is a brilliant actress, and she did a great couple days of work...But it was very difficult to introduce someone as a competing love interest when so much is on the table with Peter and Gwen."
Stills from Woodley's scenes as Mary Jane:
Credit: Sony Pictures
Producer Matt Tolmach added in the same vein, "We bit off more than we can chew. We had a superhero opera, and as great as Shailene is, she didn't really co-exist with the bigger story we were telling...It felt like a distraction. You can't have Peter thinking about Gwen every moment and then there's this girl next door who's suddenly there...We weren't ready for it."
The "Amazing Spider-Man 3" is set to be released in 2016.