It was announced yesterday that Shailene Woodley, the actress who was set to play Mary Jane Watson in next year’s Amazing Spider-Man 2, will not, in fact, be appearing in the film. Woodley had only been on-set for three days and shot about that many scenes, but those have all been cut.
Remarkably, considering ASM2 introduces Electro, the Rhino, Norman Osborn, Harry Osborn and, if rumors are true, the Vulture and Black Cat, director Marc Webb explained the choice this way:
“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.”
Woodley took the high road, telling Entertainment Weekly,
“Of course I’m bummed. But I’m a firm believer in everything happening for a specific reason. … Based on the proposed plot, I completely understand holding off on introducing [Mary Jane] until the next film.”
The question is when Mary Jane is introduced, will she be the one playing her? Both Deadline and THR raise doubt that the actress will return, pointing out the likelihood of the character being recast.
Normally, an actor being cut and their part recast isn’t all that big of a deal. However, the throngs of maladjusted fanboys that took to the internet to attack a young woman barely out of her teens for actually looking like the teenaged version of Mary Jane the filmmakers were going for instead of the impossibly-physiqued sex-bomb from the comics made this time different.
(Really? You think she’s ugly?)
Whether the she’s-not-hot-enough reaction had its intended effect on the producers or not, we might never know (though we’ll probably get a good idea, depending on the cup-size of Woodley’s replacement), but it will still always be hanging over this film. On their side as a victory, a “we shouted enough about the ugly bitch and they fired her!” victory, and on our side as a loss, yet one more “I can’t believe they caved to those lowest common denominator assholes again” loss.
What makes this all the more ridiculous is that so, so many of the same people who were crying about Woodley not being sexy enough also complain about Megan Fox in TMNT for the exact opposite reason, despite a google image search for “April O’Neil” yielding these (largely NSFW) results.