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Shailene Woodley fired by Spider-Man!

Mary Jane Watson won’t be seen in the upcoming “Amazing Spider-Man” sequel

Right up until those reports came in about James Gandolfini’s tragic passing, this was the biggest news around town this morning.

Shailene Woodley has been cut from the upcoming “Amazing Spider-Man 2”, in which she’d filmed several scenes as flaxen-haired Spidey squeeze, Mary Jane Watson.

According to director Marc Webb, Woodley (The Descendants) was cut because he’d decided the movie would be better served if it concentrated solely on the relationship between Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) and Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone), rather than throwing a third girl into the mix. Strange he didn’t think of this before though, right? Did he only just realize this once checking out a rough-cut of the flick? Or, as I suspect, is there a less print-friendly explanation for Woodley’s excising?

Whatever the case, here’s Webb’s PR-friendly spiel : ‘I made a creative decision to streamline the story and focus on Peter and Gwen and their relationship,’ he said. ‘Shailene is an incredibly talented actress and while we only shot a few scenes with Mary Jane, we all love working with her.’

Though Webb says he’ll bring Woodley back for “The Amazing Spider-Man 3”, is it possible that he or Sony have decided that Woodley just doesn’t fit Mary Jane, and with no time to recast, they’ve simply decided to cut the character? (and then recast the part for the next film?) That’s the word around the webb, er, web. Even THR suggests Mary Jane will be recast come the third film.

Woodley tells Entertainment Weekly that she’s understandably bummed about being chopped from the 2014 sequel.

“Of course I’m bummed. But I am a firm believer in everything happening for a specific reason. Based on the proposed plot, I completely understand the need for holding off on introducing [Mary Jane] until the next film,” she added.

I know a lot of comic book fans weren’t happy with Woodley being cast as Mary Jane, with most claiming she wasn’t attractive enough to play the part, but Jesus- if only because it won’t do the production, nor the studio, any favours – I hope that’s not the internal word for the dismissal. That’s something a soft-core pornographer would only do. Right? And if it is, I suggest they use the ‘Eric Stoltz-Back to the Future’ case as part of their fire-back defense.

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