Well, it looks like nobody is going to be calling Peter Parker "Tiger" just yet.
Sony Pictures and director Marc Webb have apparently decided that Parker's love life was complicated enough without the redhead as the character of Mary Jane Watson won't be appearing in "The Amazing Spider-Man 2."
Shailene Woodley (a Golden Globe nominee for 2011's "The Descendants") had filmed a handful of scenes as M.J., though none of them will be appearing in the final cut of the film. Instead, the character will be introduced in the third installment.
"Of course I'm bummed. But I am a firm believer in everything happening for a specific reason," said Woodley in this week's issue of Entertainment Weekly (via Total Film), which focuses on the young star's upcoming YA sci-fi film, "Divergent." "Based on the proposed plot, I completely understand the need for holding off on introducing [Mary Jane] until the next film."
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Woodley only worked on the film for three days. Director Marc Webb said, "I made a creative decision to streamline the story and focus on Peter and Gwen and their relationship." THR reports that Woodley will probably not be returning for the third film and the role will be recast.
News of Mary Jane's departure from "The Amazing Spider-Man 2" comes hot on the heels of word that Sony has already set projected release dates for the next two installments in the franchise following next summer's sequel. "The Amazing Spider-Man 3" will hit theaters on June 10, 2016 and "4" will swing in on May 4, 2018.
With several "Spider-Man" sequels in the works, Sony seems to be doing what every other major studio seems to be doing: trying to be like Marvel. Sony is holding on to their tentpole character for dear life and is no doubt heading toward some sort of "Avengers"-style mashup, though in a much more villainous way. Many are speculating that we'll be getting a future Spidey film that features the Sinister Six, a team of bad guys consisting of some of the wallcrawler's most popular enemies, with the original lineup including Doctor Octopus, Mysterio, Sandman, Vulture, Kraven the Hunter ... and Electro, played by Jamie Foxx in "The Amazing Spider-Man 2."
Anyway, we're sure we'll be seeing Mary Jane in the third "Spider-Man" film. In fact, MJ being cut from "2" fuels the theory that Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone) might indeed be meeting her tragic comic book fate by being killed by the Green Goblin (Chris Cooper is playing Norman Osborn in the film, after all) ... having another love interest for Peter might diminish the impact of Gwen's demise.
Production on "The Amazing Spider-Man 2" continues apace with a look toward a release date of May 2, 2014. Meanwhile, Shailene Woodley will be keeping busy with her acclaimed Sundance drama "The Spectacular Now" opening on August 2, and the highly anticipated Young Adult book adaptation "Divergent" hitting theaters on March 21, 2014.