Comic-Con 2013: Shailene Woodley Still Possible in ‘Amazing Spider-Man 3′; New Electro Character Details

Published 2 years ago by , Updated July 25th, 2013 at 2:14 pm,

Spider Man mask and city Comic Con 2013: Shailene Woodley Still Possible in Amazing Spider Man 3; New Electro Character Details

Now that many of our most-anticipated summer 2013 movies are behind us, comic book fans have started looking toward 2014 for their big screen fix. One of next year’s most-talked about sequels, The Amazing Spider-Man 2, was featured in Sony’s 2013 Comic-Con Hall H panel but before the filmmakers and stars took to the stage, they opened-up in a press-only conference.

Earlier in the week, we had a chance to sit down with director Marc Webb to discuss Amazing Spider-Man 2 villains and story details; however, during the closed-door press conference, Webb and leading baddie Jamie Foxx elaborated further on what fans can expect from the villainous Electro along with the circumstances that set the stage for unassuming Max Dillon to be become a “godlike” creature.

Discussing the challenges of the Max Dillon/Electro role, Foxx said that he drew from personal experience during his early days in Los Angeles. The actor asserted he wanted to inject an intensity into the character – so that the relationship between Spider-Man and Electro won’t just provide interesting character drama, it’ll entertain audiences with epic super-powered conflict:

“We wanted Electro to be serious. I wanted him to be a formidable opponent [...] I said, ‘I really want Electro to be angry.’ When Spider-Man says to Max ‘We’re partners’ (and he said it in passing), [Max] took it to heart, so when I turn into Electro, I don’t want to let [Spider-Man] off the hook. And I think that’s what works, that’s what makes the fight epic, the fact that Electro is not talking a lot. He’s just down to business, he wants to burn the city down and he wants to get rid of Spider-Man.”

amazing spider man 2 max dillon Comic Con 2013: Shailene Woodley Still Possible in Amazing Spider Man 3; New Electro Character Details

Responding to a question asking whether the actor found playing Electro to be “disturbing,” Foxx elaborated on the events that lead to Dillon’s villainous turn – making it clear that writers Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci had plotted-out a multi-faceted character journey for the film’s electrifying antagonist. A journey that helps show both sides of The Amazing Spider-Man 2 story:

“With Max, we wanted to have three things happen. We wanted him to be betrayed by love, he needed to be betrayed by family, and he needed to be betrayed by his work. We came up with the fact that as Max Dillon, it’s his birthday and even his mom doesn’t remember his birthday. See how you feel? Awe, right? But that sets it up, the fact that he says, ‘Mom, it’s a very special day to me. Is there anything you want to say to me?’ ‘I don’t want to say anything to you.’ It sets it up that when Max Dillon does turn into Electro, there’s a little bit of you saying ‘I understand where he’s coming from.’ So it wasn’t disturbing but it’s great to see that journey and the fact that we gave it more than one side. It’s three-to-four dimensional that when he turns into this person, you understand where he’s coming from.”

Director Marc Webb also offered-up his vision for the character – focusing less on the performance and detailing the process of translating Electro from comic book pages to big screen believability. Longtime fans will likely appreciate hearing that, at one point, the filmmaker even considered using the classic masked, yellow and green, version of the character but went with a variation closer to the “Ultimate” Electro in the interest of supporting Foxx’s performance and onscreen gravitas:

“There are a lot of different incarnations of Electro in the comics and I tried to think about how to do it with the yellow and green suit and I just couldn’t think any logical sense out of that. There are certain elements of his creation that I want to protect but I will say that when you look at a storm cloud coming over the horizon, I remember growing up in Wisconsin and seeing these terrifying storms coming over the plains, and the electricity on the inside of them would explode and you’d see these flashes of billowing light. That is a cue that we used to develop the internal workings of Electro. The other thing is I thought it was important to understand the visage, the face, the emotion, and preserve Jamie’s performance within the character itself – so we sort of stepped away from doing a mask and instead created a creature that felt human but also felt godlike. And that was something that was really important to present to Spider-Man as an antagonist. Something that is terrifying and a little bit creepy and immensely powerful.”

Amazing Spider Man 2 Electro vs. Spider Man Official Image Comic Con 2013: Shailene Woodley Still Possible in Amazing Spider Man 3; New Electro Character Details

Anyone familiar with the character will likely be excited at the prospect of a “godlike” version of the villain – especially in light of new details about the effects that will bring Electro to life. We’ll have a better idea of what to expect when Webb debuts the first official footage from the film during the Hall H panel (later today at the time of this writing) – with further reveals no doubt leading-up to the movie’s release next summer.

That said, with Amazing Spider-Man 3 and 4 already scheduled for 2016 and 2018 respectively, the filmmakers also weighed-in on the future of the franchise – specifically the will she/won’t she debate over Shailene Woodley’s future as love-interest Mary Jane Watson. Rumors over the last month have moved the conversation back and forth between reports suggesting the actress was dismissed because, once on set, Webb decided she was not a fit for the role (asserting that the character would be recast) while others suggested that Woodley’s scenes were a distraction in a film that’s already in danger of being overstuffed (claiming that Woodley would still make her debut as MJ in Amazing Spider-Man 3).

Shailene Woodley Mary Jane Watson Amazing Spider Man Comic Con 2013: Shailene Woodley Still Possible in Amazing Spider Man 3; New Electro Character Details

Now, thanks to producer Avi Arad and Webb, we have a clearer picture of the reason Mary Jane was cut from the film – though we aren’t any closer to a definitive answer about whether or not Shailene Woodley will return for the next web-slinger movie:

Avi Arad: “We miss Shailene, I Know you all understand that the story got two big to have two girls. We always get complaints that there’s too much of this, too much of that. So we thought it was the right thing to wait for it. The next movie will be in three years, we love this girl, and time will tell.”

Marc Webb: “We haven’t crossed that bridge, we have to finish this movie first.”

Arad’s comments back-up a point that we suggested earlier: given the well-known spoilers for The Amazing Spider-Man 2 story, it might not be the best time to introduce Mary Jane Watson (especially considering the sheer amount of new characters set to be introduced in the film). However, both Webb and Arad seem to suggest that the decision didn’t have anything to do with Woodley’s performance in the role – and that they are at least open to the possibility of the actress returning for part 3 (and presumably 4).

Still, Woodley is becoming an increasingly busy commodity – set to headline Summit Entertainment’s new young adult series Divergent among other projects. For that reason, it’s possible that some of the uncertainty is coming from the fact that, with two Spider-Man films scheduled to film in the next four years, Webb and Woodley need to sit back down and determine if they’re still in a position to work together.

Shailene Woodley dodging knives in Divergent Comic Con 2013: Shailene Woodley Still Possible in Amazing Spider Man 3; New Electro Character Details

We’ll keep you updated as we hear more but, considering Webb’s comment that “we have to finish this movie first,” it might be awhile before we have a definitive answer about whether Woodley is still the new Mary Jane.


The Amazing Spider-Man 2 opens in U.S. theaters on May 2nd, 2014, followed by The Amazing Spider-Man 3 on June 10th, 2016 and The Amazing Spider-Man 4 on May 4th, 2018.

Follow me on Twitter @benkendrick for further Comic-Con 2013 coverage, updates on The Amazing Spider-Man 2 as well as future movie, TV, and gaming news.

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  1. So much ASM2 news. I think Woodley will come back for the third movie and play MJ. I also think the final battle between Electro and Spidey will be epic.

    • From them saying how he’s somewhat of a god, I’m betting yes!

  2. I wonder if Webb was hinting at the death of Gwen Stacy when he said “We haven’t crossed that bridge yet.” Meaning that Gwen had to be out of Peter’s life before they could introduce Mary Jane.

    • +1

      Keen eye and mind you have.

    • Also, she dies on a bridge!


    • Thought the same thing when I read that part.

  3. what i want to know is, will there be another attempt to reference the avengers as they were going to have an oscorp bldg at 1 point so i thought maybe they may try again in this film. could there be a mention of the battle of new york?


    ahem…all done now.

    • I agree, that would be so cool. I’m all for a Spider-Man/Avengers crossover. As long as they promise to keep Fox’s version of the X-Men and Fantastic Four out of it.

    • Yeah, instead of full Sinister Six vs. Spidey give us references that Thor is battling Electro, Hawkeye and Cap try to stop Lizard in the third movie. Dr. Octopus vs. Iron Man.
      Then Spidey and Goblin can have the final showdown where (seriously i want this) Spider-Man kills the Green Goblin for good.
      In comics I’ve always hated that “great power, yaddaydadda”. Killing Goblin would satisfy that? I mean, Uncle Ben was a veteran.

    • I thought there was a hint to the avengers in the first movie. There was a lot of construction in new York with the cranes and such.

  4. This movie is sounding pretty cool so far. I hope the footage isn’t just for those in attendance and they will release it later today, really sucked when the Godzilla teaser wasn’t released last year.

    I’m hoping Electro is a complete badass in this film, I want him to be a massive threat to New York City. More action, more story and more character development wrapped into an action packed film would be pure epic. I mean, they did get through the origin (for the most part), I guess now its just having a rollicking good time and delving into the characters’ mythos.

  5. Electro looks like Nosferatu after eating a light-bulb–cool!
    Girl who could play MJ looks kinda cutesy.
    Wanna see Scorpion and Mysterio in the near-future versus Spider-Man.
    If Spidey is gonna fight the Sinester Six, he needs help. He can’t lick that many guys alone. Get another hero in there with him.

    • well with the black suit he could beat the sinister six hmmmmmmmmm

    • +1 to Scorpio. They could do him so cool. Imagine if the robotic tail actually looked like it was a biomechenical scorpion skin.

  6. I want divergent to do really bad so they won’t make a sequel and woodley will just come back I really want her back. I’m keeping my fingers crossed as tightly as possible

  7. Hope they do Spidey right in this one. I want humor and a balance of Peter Parker & Spiderman not one outdoing the other.

    • I thought they did him well in the last one, better than the whole first trilogy in my opinion.

  8. Still waiting for that on person here to complain about the term “godlike” being used for superhero’s and supervillains, hehe.

    So far, I like what I’m hearing. When talking about Max Dillon and Electro and seeing those set pics, am I the only one that’s thinking “super powered Walter White”?

  9. Has anyone considered the idea of featuring the clone saga in this film series?

    • I think JM has.

  10. I think they should recast her and have Jane Levy from Evil Dead play as Mary Jane.

    • She’s too similar to Emma Stone’s cute, Girl Next Door quirkiness, I think. I’m fine with Shailene but if they recast, I’d really like Mary Elizabeth Winstead.

      • Yeah. Shes a good choice, i like how she did in FD3 and Scot pilgrim vs the world.

  11. ‘I thought they did him well in the last one, better than the whole first trilogy in my opinion”.

    And the fact of Sarah Gadon to be part of the franchise, only makes it better.

  12. None of the people you are suggesting have the acting chops that Woodley has, she is perfect for the part, and to those who say M.J. should be a knock out, she is as good as it gets.

  13. Oh, yeah, and Tobey should be in Avengers not Andrew. Tobey is more realistic and fits better with the universe they created.

  14. Please look at my Avengers Reboot Cast(I was bored and wondered who could also pull of the roles.

  15. Why not make her a insecure nerd, you know with the ponytail, baggy clothes, glasses, the kind of girl whose beautiful but doesn’t know it. That would be an awesome change since Andrew’s Peter is all suave and cool, and not at all weak and nerdy, though he has his moments.