[UPDATE: Gadon is not replacing Shailene Woodley as Mary Jane.]
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 director Marc Webb - drawing from a script co-written by Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci (Star Trek Into Darkness) - is using the sequel to introduce several key characters to the Marvel superhero's mythos, in addition to laying the narrative groundwork for at least two additional films in the rebooted Spider-Man movie continuity.
Hence, most people seemed okay with the announcement that the new Mary Jane Watson is going to debut in a future Amazing Spider-Man installment; as opposed to, having to compete to get her fair share of screen time alongside multiple villains, antagonists in the waiting (see: Harry and Norman Osborn), and possible additional love interests for Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield) that are going to be introduced in the sequel.
Award-winning actress Shailene Woodley (The Descendants) was the one who first revealed that her scenes as Mary Jane have been trimmed from Amazing Spider-Man 2. Shortly thereafter that story picked up speed online, rumors began to circulate that Woodley is going to be replaced by a different actress in the role (in the third movie and beyond). Canadian Sarah Gadon was one of the first names to be seriously bandied-about, but those claims were (seemingly) debunked.
However, Gadon has since confirmed to ET Canada that she is, in fact, joining the Amazing Spider-Man franchise cast, but kept her lips sealed about which specific character she will portray. Having said that, Mary Jane Watson does seem like an option, given that Emma Stone plays Gwen Stacy in the Amazing Spider-Man movies - for however much longer that lasts - and Felicity Jones is all-but-confirmed to portray Felicia Hardy (a.k.a. Black Cat), starting in the sequel.
UPDATE: Variety's Jeff Sneider is reporting that Gadon will appear briefly in Amazing Spider-Man 2, but has "100 CONFIRMED" that she is not replacing Woodley as Mary Jane Watson.
Gadon, for those unfamiliar, has been a professional screen actress since she turned 11, but has gained more notice of late for her roles in David Cronenberg's A Dangerous Method and Cosmopolis. She will also have a role in Cronenberg's new showbiz satire Maps to the Stars next year, in addition to playing the female lead opposite Luke Evans in Dracula. That's to say, Gadon is a talented young actress whose best performances may lie ahead of her (much like Woodley); as such, she is a welcome addition to the Amazing Spider-Man cast, regardless of who she is portraying.
Indeed, the Amazing Spider-Man franchise (as a whole) has brought together an impeccable collection of acting talent, including the sequel additions of Jamie Foxx as Max Dillon/Electro, Paul Giamatti playing Aleksei Sytsevich/Rhino, Dane DeHaan as Pete Parker's best friend Harry Osborn, and Chris Cooper as his father Norman Osborn (along with the aforementioned Felicity Jones). Here's to hoping that's a sign of even bigger and better things to come for this rebooted comic book movie series.
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.
Source: ET Canada
Update Source: Variety