Yesterday, we learned that the ‘Amazing Spider-Man’ franchise would be stretching into four films (so far) and continuing until 2018. With all that room to breathe, it looks like the seemingly crowded ‘Amazing Spider-Man 2’ will spill over into the third installment in a bigger way than anticipated. Based on the latest reports, it appears that Mary Jane Watson will no longer appear in the sequel to Marc Webb’s 2012 superhero film.

According to the latest issue of Entertainment Weekly (via Comic Book Movie), the entirety of Shailene Woodley’s role in ‘The Amazing Spider-Man 2’ has been cut out of the film. In the upcoming print edition of the magazine, they discovered the news while talking to the actress about her latest film ‘Divergent’. In response to the omission, Woodley said:

“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.”

While speaking to Deadline, director Webb commented on cutting Woodley’s scenes from the movie by saying that it would add more focus to the story he’s trying to tell in his second Spidey tale:

“I made a creative decision to streamline the story and focus on Peter and Gwen and their relationship, Shailene is an incredibly talented actress and while we only shot a few scenes with Mary Jane, we all love working with her.”

Finally, The Hollywood Reporter tells us that not only will the character be cut but the actress will be cut as well. The site notes that it is “likely that Woodley will not return and that the part will be recast”. When CBM first broke the news, it sounded like Woodley’s scenes would just be saved for the next movie, but this may not be the case. Webb’s comments make it sound like the actress would return/be introduced in the third film, but reading her comments again after thinking about this information, one could make a case that THR’s report could be accurate.

While it is definitely a total bummer that we have to wait until 2016 for Peter Parker to hit the jackpot, it might be for the better. Originally, MJ’s role was meant to be a brief appearance since the actress was only on set for about three days. With these new plans in place, she’ll likely get a more proper introduction into Webb’s Spidey-verse and not lost in the sea of new characters in the film already like Electro, the Rhino, Harry Osborn, and supposedly the Green Goblin and the Vulture.

What do you think about Shailene Woodley’s Mary Jane Watson getting cut from ‘The Amazing Spider-Man 2’? Do you think we’ll see the actress return with the character in the third movie in the series in 2016? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

‘The Amazing Spider-Man 2’ starring Andrew Garfield, Emma Stone, Jamie Foxx, Dane DeHaan, Chris Cooper, Paul Giamatti, Colm Feore, and Sally Field is set to hit theaters in 3D on May 2, 2014.