Though reactions to Marc Webb’s reboot of Sony’s Spider-Man franchise, The Amazing Spider-Man, were mixed, the one thing that nearly everyone was in agreement on was that Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone made for an upgrade in principal actors over Sam Raimi’s choice of Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst for his trilogy. Stone especially seemed like a breath of fresh air, as Dunst’s version of Mary Jane Watson wasn’t written to be like the character comic fans loved from the very beginning, and getting the chance to restart the story using Peter Parker’s real first girlfriend, Gwen Stacy…well, it just felt right.
That leaves the question of Spider-Man’s second girlfriend hanging over Webb’s new franchise, however. Everyone knows that the love triangle he gets thrust into with Gwen Stacy and Mary Jane is a big part of Spider-Man’s early stories, so do Webb and crew have plans to introduce the confident and vivacious Mary Jane of the comic books into their future films, even if it could mess up the goldmine of chemistry they’ve discovered between Garfield and Stone?
If a new report from Variety is to be believed, the answer is yes, and if things end up playing out like they’re looking to, that might be a good thing. According to the trade, Webb and company are currently in negotiations with The Descendants star Shailene Woodley to board the Amazing Spider-Man sequel as the aforementioned Mary Jane Watson. As anyone who saw The Descendants can tell you, despite the fact that it was George Clooney who got nominated for an acting Oscar, it was Woodley who stole most of that film’s scenes. This girl is good. Throwing her into the already potent Garfield and Stone mix is almost guaranteed to provide Webb’s second Spider-Man film with some acting fireworks.
In addition to the news that Woodley is the current choice for Mary Jane, Variety’s report also indicates that Spider-Man’s best friend, Harry Osborne, is going to be introduced in this second film as well, and that the villain they’re likely going to feature will be Electro. No rumors of who they’re looking at to fill these roles have yet surfaced, however.
Of course, there’s still plenty of time for all of this to change. But it’s exciting to hear that movement on this movie is being made, and that work is being put in to expand the universe. The Amazing Spider-Man showed that Webb still had a few kinks to work out when it comes to making a big budget superhero movie, but his casting has been spot-on from the beginning, and his pursuit of Woodley is a good indication that, at the very least, this will continue to be the case going forward.