Although The Amazing Spider-Man 2 was not well received, something that stood out about it was Emma Stone’s Gwen Stacy and her shocking death. So much so, that it informed a pivotal scene in recent smash-hit Spider-Man: No Way Home. However, it was originally planned that Spidey’s next girlfriend MJ would be introduced into The Amazing Spider-Man 2, maybe to help him get over Gwen’s death.
They even went so far as casting Shailene Woodley, who would appear in the first Divergent movie in that same year – 2014. Woodley made Divergent sequels Insurgent and Allegiant in quick succession, but a planned fourth and final movie never happened. Anyway, back in 2013, Woodley filmed some scenes as MJ, which eventually wound up on the cutting room floor.
Speaking before the Spidey sequel was even released, Woodley told MTV; “I think it’s smart, honestly. Looking back at it, MJ was in I think four scenes. I shot three days and they were good scenes, but they were also like 45-second long scenes, and to introduce such a vital character like that doesn’t make much sense in the end.”
Woodley continued; “In the beginning I don’t think it was something anybody ever really thought about, because it was just like, OK, we’ll introduce MJ in this one, and bring her back in the next. But then after they sort of started cutting it together, they realised that it didn’t make much sense.”
Of course, The Amazing Spider-Man 3 never ended up happening, due to the poor response to the second one. It seems likely that Woodley’s MJ would have been properly introduced in the third movie, if it had gone ahead. With renewed interest in both Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield’s versions of Spider-Man (for obvious reasons), fan campaigns have started up for both Spider-Man 4 and The Amazing Spider-Man 3.