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Hump Day Have Your Say: Is Shailene Woodley the Right Choice for Mary Jane Watson?



The recent announcement that actress Shailene Woodley (The Descendants) was cast as Mary Jane Watson in the upcoming The Amazing Spider-Man 2 has left a few fans of the series scratching their heads.  Historically, Mary Jane Watson is a smoking hot babe , well at least in Marvel canon.  I know what your thinking, wait a minute the Spider-Man trilogy had Kirsten (snaggletooth) Dunst in the role of Mary Jane Watson and she has rarely been accused of being sultry, well at least in my eyes anyway.



I will be honest I was never a huge fan of Dunst or Maguire in the first three spider-man films.  Similarly, while I thought it was way too soon to reboot the series, Garfield did an excellent job with his portrayal of the web slinger.   I assume most people are most familiar with Woodley from her performance in the Descendants (2011) where she starred as George Clooney’s wayward daughter.  Not having previously seen her in another role I was impressed with her acting abilities.  She certainly brought an air of believability and humanism to the role.



While I am not sure that any casting decision is going to satisfy all the  fans of the comic.  I at least think Woodley showed enough acting chops, to expect her to possibly pull off this new role.  What is your take on the casting of  Shailene Woodley in the role of Mary Jane Watson, in the upcoming The Amazing Spider-Man 2 which is due to hit theater on May 2nd 2014?  Does she have what it takes to assume the role of Spider-Man’s main squeeze or is she miscast?


On the set of Spider-Man 2


Almost forgot to mention, sorry this post was a bit late today.  I had to chaperone my kids preschool field trip to the Noll surfboard factory.  A really nice family and company by the way if you are looking to have a custom board shaped.

Comments on this entry are closed.

  • Lights Camera Reaction March 6, 2013, 2:38 pm

    She wouldn’t be my first pick, but I’ll give her a chance. People are being way too harsh on her.

    • Adam March 6, 2013, 2:43 pm

      I would tend to agree. I thought she did a great job in the Descendants but I do not know if I was going to pick an actress for the role she would have been on my short list. Maybe she really nailed the audition, or maybe she is a comic book nut, who knows but I think she deserves a shot at the role.

  • ckckred March 6, 2013, 2:49 pm

    I really liked Woodley in The Descendants (I think she was snubbed by the Academy) and I can see her as Mary Jane. I think she could play the part well.

  • Adam March 6, 2013, 2:51 pm

    Ckckred I am nodding my head as I read all four of those statements.

  • scottydynamite March 6, 2013, 3:06 pm

    I think it is another misstep in the series that is a misstep. I thought she was great in The Descendents but I do not think she will be a good Mary Jane. The role does not call for a good actress in my opinion it calls for someone with good chemistry with Spidey.

    • Adam March 6, 2013, 3:40 pm

      O thats right you were not much of a fan of the first film in the reboot.

  • Chris March 6, 2013, 3:36 pm

    As you said, she showed us that she can definitely act, so I won’t write her off just yet. But that said, I still don’t really get much of a Mary Jane vibe from her, which really might just come down to her appearance. But I dunno, we’ll see I guess!

    • Adam March 6, 2013, 3:40 pm

      Chris I will certainly agree with that… I heard those pics are on set so I am thinking that is what she is going to look like as Mary Jane but I hope I am wrong.

  • Teddy Casimir March 6, 2013, 4:11 pm

    Kirsten is so ingrained in my head as Mary Jane, but I’ll give Shailene the benefit of the doubt. She does look too innocent to play MJ though, although this could end up working in her favor.

    • Adam March 6, 2013, 6:07 pm

      I know what your saying at least in the comics Mary Jane is certainly a bit more worldly than Peter Parker at least initially.

  • Shala March 6, 2013, 6:35 pm

    I’m going from a very different place that you (I LOVED Maguire as Peter Parker/Spiderman and Kirsten Dunst as MJ; though I’ve never been a big fan of either of them in other roles in their careers, I think these roles were perfect for them) but I also think it’s weird that Shailene Woodley was cast as MJ. Well, actually to me, she is alittle overrated; yes she is a competent actress but I wasn’t too impressed in “The Descendants”. But yes, to agree with most, I don’t understand the connection with the her and character.

    It seems to me that casting seems to revolve around whoever the “It” young people are the moment and not who would actually embody the spirit of the comic book character. I really was planning on skipping this one but… then they went and casted Dane DeHaan as Harry (another case in point…). I LOVE him so… you know… I may end up seeing it.

  • Adam March 6, 2013, 6:47 pm

    Shala maybe it’t just the bad taste that Spider-Man 3 left in my mouth that has soured my opinion on Maguire and Dunst. I keep picturing dancing emo spidey in my head. ugh

    I think you might be closer aligned with Scott on this on in that he liked the original films and cast a lot more than the reboot. Which I will agree was either unnecessary or way too soon.

    thanks for stopping by ;-)

    • Shala March 7, 2013, 10:21 am

      Yeah, “Spiderman 3″ was not good by any stretch of the imagination… I try and forget it exists :)

      • Adam March 7, 2013, 10:34 am

        That is probably for the best ;-)

  • Brian March 6, 2013, 10:35 pm

    I’m not a Spider-Man fanboy though I do enjoy the first two films from the Raimi series. But for me, if it’s a franchise/series/adaptation that I’m obsessed with, I’m far more concerned with making sure that the casting choices are good actors whether or not they have the right look. Case in point: I quite enjoyed the first Hunger Games novel and while Jennifer Lawrence looked nothing like who I pictured in the place of Katniss, she’s a terrific actress and that served the film well.

    To the point, Woodley’s work in Descendants blew me away. She went toe-to-toe with Clooney and came out on top numerous times. Super impressed with that. So if I was Spider-Man obsessed, I’d be thrilled with her selection even if she wasn’t the person I had in my own mind. Great topic!

    • Adam March 7, 2013, 2:12 am

      You know Brian I thought she got snubbed not getting a best supporting actress nod that year. So I guess I am hoping she can pull this off.

      Also thanks for stopping by :-)

  • Pete Turner (@ilovethatfilm) March 7, 2013, 12:36 am

    I think she could be great! She was awesome in The Descendants and I think she’s got the look!

    • Adam March 7, 2013, 2:14 am

      I agree she was great in the Descendants but I am not 100% sure she has the look. Well at least not the same look as the Mary Jane Watson fan fiction I write ;-)

  • Griff March 7, 2013, 9:21 am

    I didn’t hate the new spiderman movie and I loved Emma Stone as Gwen but let’s face it. The whole re-boot thing is nothing but a money play by sony to retain the rights to the franchise. This new film is just more of the same. I actually hope the whole thing bombs and they sell the rights back to Marvel (Disney). Spiderman in the Avengers movie? Yes please! While they are at it can they give back Ghost Rider? Those movies have killed a small part of my childhood.
    Anyway, I loved the Descendants and I thought Shailene was great. She really held her own opposite Clooney in the best performance of his career. (Talk about should have won the Oscar…but that’s another story.) After that performance how hard can it be to do a Spider Man movie? If Dunst can do it, anyone can.

  • Adam March 7, 2013, 9:28 am

    Dont forget about the Fantastic Four I think that might be Fox? I don’t think they actually have to pay to get the rights back for those films. I think it’s more like if they don’t release a film in X amount of years based on the franchise the rights revert back to Marvel and thus Disney. Not sure if that arrangement goes on in perpetuity?

  • Fogs' Movie Reviews March 7, 2013, 9:53 am

    She was great in the Descendants, but i havent seen her in anything else. Those pictures of her in character are pretty unflattering though, I have to say.

  • Adam March 7, 2013, 10:04 am

    Fogs, I am hoping that by on set, they meant walking to craft services pre wardrobe and makeup cause that does not look like the image I have in my head when you say Mary Jane Watson.

    Not that she was not great in the Descendants or that I don’t think she may be able to pull off the acting component of this role.

    I think she may have been in some pre-teen TV show prior to her landing that role in the Descendants. I will have to check with Scott he loves those kind of shows. ;-)

  • Nick March 8, 2013, 9:40 am

    Who knew they could cast someone that would make Kirsten Dunst look ridiculously sexy? Call be pessimistic, but I thought (and continue to think) that this is one of the worst superhero movie casting decisions of all time.

    • Adam March 8, 2013, 3:06 pm

      Nick I hope you are wrong but I have a nagging suspicion you may be right.

  • Tim The Film Guy March 8, 2013, 11:44 am

    Yeah not sure really, the classic character has never been done right. I hope they don’t try to force her into the comic role, if she cant do it play a new take on it please!

    I’ll wait for the trailer to judge, acting can prove more important in these things :D

    • Adam March 8, 2013, 3:07 pm

      Tim I don’t know if I am going to be able to trust that trailer. I have been burned too many times by sweet looking trailers. I wish I could quit you trailers….

  • Tyson Carter March 8, 2013, 5:41 pm

    I like Kirsten Dunst :)

    • Adam March 8, 2013, 7:09 pm

      Finally, the first member of the Kirsten Dunst fan club ;-)

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