*** Be Warned: Major Spoilers Ahead! ***
Many wrote our initial story off as rumor before taking Entertainment Tonight Canada's word for it. Following the casting confirmation, many sources stated that Sarah Gadon was 100% not playing Mary Jane Watson, and that she is instead taking on a different character that will make an appearance in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 before expanding in The Amazing Spider-Man 3.
This is what we've gathered from our very trusted source, who was on set the last day of location shooting. None of this has been confirmed by Sony Pictures or the filmmakers themselves, so read it as rumor until more comes to light.
Shailene Woodley was given the boot as Mary Jane Watson as early as April. Her footage will not be used in The Amazing Spider-Man 3, and the part will be recast. Its doubtful that we'll ever see the completed footage featuring Shailene. Our source confirms that Sarah Gadon was, in fact, cast as the new Mary Jane Watson. It is unclear if that is still the case, or if she is now being relegated to a smaller, unknown role with other actresses now being considered. The various reports that Sarah Gadon is 100% "not" playing Mary Jane could be a smoke screen to keep Shailene Woodley's removal from the franchise from becoming a bigger story. The news might also be floating just to test the waters of reception from fans, to gauge their take on this casting choice.
Anyone who keeps up with superhero movies and leaked casting announcements will know that over the last couple of years, we constantly hear of an actor playing a certain character, only to have everyone, including the actor themself, deny that fact vehemently. 100%. Jackie Earle Haley as Freddy Krueger. Marion Cotillard as Talia al Ghul and Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Robin in The Dark Knight Rises, and especially Benedict Cumberbatch as Khan in Star Trek Into Darkness all come to mind. Just look at the way Steve Carell lied about his reappearance in The Office as Michael Scott for the season finale.
In this day and age of fast moving socially traded information, taking on certain roles requires an actor to "act" in the media as though they have not taken on a role. Most of the time it's to keep the storyline or elements of the film itself a secret. Here, it's to keep the casting story itself quiet. It appears that Shailene Woodley was miscast, for whatever reason, like Eric Stoltz in Back to The Future. Only, back in 1984, we didn't have the Internet, and no one cared about that movie during the time of production. So we didn't hear about it until after the film was a huge success.
Actors get miscast and recast all the time. The story here gets interesting in the fact that the fan outcry was quite loud. Comment sections and movie blogs were quick to point out that the actress didn't fit the Mary Jane archetype, some very cruelly. She simply wasn't Mary Jane. Fair enough.
After The Amazing Spider-Man 3 and The Amazing Spider-Man 4 were announced by Sony Pictures last week, it became apparent that the franchise was changing its continuing arc, which meant Mary Jane wouldn't be appearing in The Amazing Spider-Man 2. Here's what we know as fact. Sarah Gadon will be in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 for a few short scenes. Though shooting has wrapped, Sarah Gadon have not yet been filmed.
Shailene Woodley only shot for three days, completing a little over three scenes. She was easy to replace, and if it makes sense for the continuation of the sequels, the recasting might be being blown out of proportion. The actress is very much in demand and is headlining the Divergent franchise. Maybe more Spider-Man movies just don't line up with more Divergent movies. We'll give the filmmakers the benefit of the doubt, but then, why not just come right out and say that's what happened instead of saying the character has been moved to another movie. The prettier, easier story is that Shailene Woodley was recast because of scheduling conflicts. Not because she was too unattractive to play Mary Jane. That kind of announcement is a firestorm in a bottle.
Stop reading if you don't want to know Major Spoilers!
It sounds like a good move for The Amazing Spider-Man 2 to have dropped Mary Jane from its narrative. The sequel as its stands minus Peter's favorite redhead, no matter who ends up playing her, is jam packed with story and characters. As stated above, our source was on set the last day of outside filming on this sequel, and can confirm that Harry Osborn is Green Goblin.
Yes, though we had to wait until Spider-Man 3 to see James Franco as New Goblin, this iteration of the mythos finds Dane DeHaan suiting up as the glider riding genetically altered supervillain during the climax of the film, which will take place at an Oscorp Power Planet.
In an earlier report, we gave a pretty good description of what the Green Goblin will look like, and some were worried that Norman, played by the 63 year-old Chris Cooper, might be a little goofy with spiked green hair no matter how cool his black Iron Man-like armor is. Does the fact that Harry is the Green Goblin from the get-go ease your mind at all? Or is that more troubling?
Electro calls the Oscorp Power Planet home in this sequel, and it serves as the source of his great electrically charged super powers. This will be the sight of Gwen's undoing, but as we've reported in the past, what looks to be the iconic death as seen in the comic book will actually be a fake out, with her actual demise coming later in the series.
The film will also contain a post-credit stinger, known as a 'mini-movie', which will lead directly into The Amazing Spider-Man 3. Its not clear at this time who will be included in this scene, or what it will consist of.
What do you think of Harry Osborn being Green Goblin right out of the gate? Do you like this change in the story? And how about that Mary Jane? If the seemingly perfect Sarah Gadon is the second person to be ousted from the role, who'll be next in filling Kirsten Dunst's shoes? And ask yourself this, has all of this information come to us from someone upset over the 'supposed firing' of Shailene Woodley? A close friend? An obsessed fan? A pissed off George Clooney. Maybe...
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 was released May 2nd, 2014 and stars Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Jamie Foxx, Dane DeHaan, Colm Feore, Felicity Jones, Paul Giamatti, Sally Field. The film is directed by Marc Webb.