Last night, I set our regular contributor Linda Ge to work on a story about the increasingly messy Mary Jane Spider-Man movie situation. Things were moving fast, though. Every time she finished a draft, there was a new twist.
Now, the situation seems to have settled down. So let’s step through it together, and we’ll take in some of Linda’s comments along the way.
The loose end of the thread was an interview with Shailene Woodley, published in this week’s Entertainment Weekly print edition. According to the quotes herein, Mary Jane Watson was being pushed back to the third Amazing Spider-Man, meaning that Woodley was being cut from the second.
The phrasing tried to imply that Woodley was staying but actually said no such thing.
And then, within minutes, everybody and their dog started getting word that Woodley was “probably” out.
Suddenly, recasting Shailene Woodley was on the table.
“Likely,” said THR, while TheWrap said “maybe.” But we could be two years or so from when filming will even begin on The Amazing Spider-Man 3, so people might be right to suspect something else is going on.
Are there other factors that led to this surprising turn of events?
An even shadier new rumor has put Canadian actress Sarah Gadon into the middle of all this, with Movieweb reporting confidently that she is already the new MJ, and has been since before anything about Woodley’s scenes being cut was even announced.
There was the second killer punch.
Movieweb were definitely the first to link Gadon to the film. Their story seemed like a bolt out of nowhere.
And it was more or less instantly denied. The Wrap’s Jeff Sneider said:
Being told that reports of Sarah Gadon being cast as Mary Jane Watson in Amazing Spider-Man 2 are NOT TRUE!
Okay, so it seemed like another dead end… until…
Entertainment Tonight Canada were working a red carpet last night, and with no small amount of serendipity, along came a Gadon. Obviously, they put the question to her, and she confirmed that, yes, she’s involved:
Huge news for @sarahgadon – she just confirmed to us that she is joining The Amazing Spider-Man franchise
Gadon being on Twitter, I thought she may have commented herself, but nope.
Though Jeff Sneider did, again.
Joining franchise wouldn’t be same as playing MJ…
He also reiterated that the Watson part has been snipped from film two.
That’s the lynchpin on which this argument hangs, I think. If Mary Jane will appear in Amazing Spider-Man 2, then she will need recasting pronto; if she doesn’t, then there’s no need to fill the role just yet.
It really does seem like Gadon will be in the next film. Seeing as we never heard about this before, and that her role is currently secret – and why would that be? – then I’m erring towards believing Moveweb’s version over Sneider’s.
Of course, there’s also the fact that Movieweb moved first and were then at least partly substantiated. There’s obviously some fire behind their smoke, and it’s hard to grasp how they’d get it half right, unless they made some stupid assumptions and just run with them.
Back to Linda:
As for why anyone would be unhappy with Woodley’s performance, I can only hope that it has nothing to do with rude, juvenile comic book fans who have been nothing but nasty to an actress who’s proven herself ably capable of doing such a role justice –
– except in the eyes of (grown up adult males who act like) horny 12 year old boys.
A beautiful young actress/model playing a beautiful young actress/model in a movie where a guy gets superpowers from an insect? It’s just too unbelievable.
If a major film studio would stoop to cater to the lowest of internet commenters on a multi-million dollar franchise, then they’ve got much bigger problems than letting the truth of what happened here be known to the public.
And… I can’t disagree with any of that.
Sarah Gadon is in. But is Mary Jane Watson out?