UPDATE: Apparently the Role of Mary Jane Could be Recast. READ ON for details. 

There has been so much intrigue about The Amazing Spider-Man 2, in major part because of director Marc Webb’s steady stream of teaser photos, as well as multiple photos from the NYC sets where the film is shooting. With the amount of speculation regarding storyline, villains and even multiple love interests for Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield), some fans have been vocal in their worry that this sequel is suffering from the sort of overstuffed mania we got in Spider-Man 3.

Well now comes word that Amazing Spider-Man 2 is going to be trimming some bits from its storyline – specifically in regards to the iconic character of Mary Jane Watson, who was set to be played in reboot continuity by Shailene Woodley (The Descendants).

CBM points to an article in EW, in which Shailene Woodley outright confirms that she won’t be appearing in Amazing Spider-Man 2:

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.

For those who are not yet caught up, Sony has already scheduled release dates for Amazing Spider-Man 3&4, which suggests that the larger Spider-Man universe this reboot was supposed to build is in fact coming to fruition. Given that Amazing Spider-Man 2 could have some major developments for Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) and his girl Gwen Stacy (Emma Stone) – and the fact that Peter could have romantic competition in the form of Felicia Hardy/Black Cat – it is indeed understandable why the filmmakers might not want to marginalize Mary Jane’s importance to the mythos…

Woodley only had a bit role in the sequel, so her character being left on the cutting room floor this round isn’t the biggest loss in the world. As CBM points out, it’s yet unclear whether or not the footage of Woodley from ASM2 will be included in ASM3, or simply re-shot. However, there could be some drastic changes taking place by the end of ASM2, so Mary Jane’s entry into the story could in fact need revising.

UPDATE: Hold on, CBM has also pulled together notes from several sources all indicating that Woodley’s rising career (she’s starring in  the next would-be Twilight franchise, Divergent) could move the studio to recast the role entirely. As there was division amongst fans when Woodley was first announced (the usual ‘hot or not’ bickering), there will understandably be number of people who will be glad for this second chance.

We’ll continue to keep you updated.

As it stands, the next film will see Spider-Man battling the threats of Electro (Jamie Foxx) and The Rhino (Paul Giamatti); it will include subplots involving a superhero prison (Ravencroft), Peter’s friendship with Harry Osborn (Dane DeHaan), relationship with Gwen, and the introduction of mastermind industrialist Norman Osborn (Chris Cooper). Yeah, that’s enough material without getting into the whole Mary Jane saga.

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 will be in theaters on May 4, 2014.

Source: EW (via CBM)

Update Source: CBM