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And here I thought we’d be done talking about superheroes for a while.
Today, it was revealed that Shailene Woodley has been cut from The Amazing Spider-Man 2. She was set to play love interest Mary-Jane Watson in a small, supporting role (she was only on set for about a month back in March). Now, she is no longer going to appear in the film with the idea that her scenes are going to be held for a potential third entry.
This move is incredibly odd. Granted, small roles are cut from movies all the time. For example, Michael Biehn shot an ultimately cut scene for Terminator 2. However, the cutting and editing of this nature typically happens during post-production when the director and editor sees what works and what doesn’t. And even stranger is that Woodley’s casting was considered big movie news. For her to be cut completely out of the movie is a really weird turn-around.
Of course, people on the internet are rejoicing. As Zack and I recently discussed, Woodley’s casting as Mary Jane was considered “controversial” in so far that internet neckbeards claimed she was not “hot enough” to play Mary Jane. That is completely insane. Woodley is an incredibly attractive young lady and talented actress. To quote Zack, “has the internet ever seen a woman in real life?” Of course, these same people are claiming that their negative reaction was what caused her to be cut from the movie and that they will “probably recast her”. I don’t know about recasting, but I am sure it is a safe bet that they had nothing to do with this decision.
Getting back on point, the recent news of Woodley being cut from the movie just continues to highlight how crazy the production of The Amazing Spider-Man 2 seems to be. Are they restructuring the story, and, if so, that is a scary sign when a movie does something like that this far into production. Or were her scenes so superfluous that they were easy to remove without damaging the overall narrative. If that is the case, why was Mary Jane added into the script in the first place (or at least kept in it this far). It raises a lot of questions.
But the Woodley situation is not the only thing that is making me question what is happening to this film. Another problem that I continue to notice is that the movie seems to be completely overstuffed with characters. According to casting notices, the film is rumored to have around three-to-four villains appearing. This is in addition to two-to-three other side characters popping up in Peter Parker’s life. This strikes me as a character overload with a case of “too-many-villianitus”.
Granted, we do not know how these characters are going to be used or if some of these roles are incredibly minor only to be explored in a sequel. The evidence is there that this is a case of set-up since Sony recently announced release dates for The Amazing Spider-Man 3 and The Amazing Spider-Man 4. What movie studio does that especially since part two is still a year away from coming out?
I can think of only two reasons behind Sony’s decision:
Whatever the reasons behind announcing a third and fourth movie this early, is this really the best way to create a movie? There is nothing inherently wrong with having aspirations of a long-running franchise, but it seems foolhardy to simply assume the money train won’t stop. And if they are telling a continuous storyline will there be a sense of satisfaction when watching an individual installment? Will each movie stand on its own?
Regardless of that, how will the upcoming sequel avoid being a complete mess with all this stuff being crammed into it? Remember Spider-Man 3? It was overloaded with characters, and the final product suffered for it. With the crazy production The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is having, I cannot help but feel we are heading towards a train wreck of a movie. That said, with the news of Shailene Woodley being cut from the movie mid-way through production, I suppose director Marc Webb and his crew are realizing their movie might be a bit over-stuffed and are looking for ways to streamline it a bit.
I guess we will find out next year if all of this ultimately works.