(Variety landed this exclusive)
Peter Parker’s love life is about to change. That’s right! Mary Jane Watson will be back in the upcoming “The Amazing Spider-Man 2.” Actress Shailene Woodley (“The Descendants”) is Sony Studio’s leading choice for the role. Woodley is in talks to portray the alternate love interest for Peter Parker. If cast, she will join actors Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone in the Marc Webb-directed sequel.
With casting ramping up, character breakdowns have gone out to talent agencies, and Electro is rumored to be one of the villains the filmmakers are considering for the sequel to the hit comic book franchise. In addition, the studio is searching for an actor to play Peter Parker’s best friend Harry Osborn. Actor James Franco played Harry in the original trilogy, while Kirsten Dunst portrayed Mary Jane.
With production not starting until early next year, the studio still has plenty of time to decide which Marvel villain will battle Spider-Man. One option, Electro, is the namesake of Max Dillon, an enemy of Spider-Man who gains the ability to control electricity after being struck by lightning. Created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko, the character first appeared in “The Amazing Spider-Man #9″ in February 1964.
In “The Amazing Spider-Man’s” post-credit sequence, set inside Dr. Curt Connors’ cell at an asylum, the Lizard is approached by a mysterious, shadowy figure (Michael Massee) who asks if Peter Parker knows the truth about his father. Lightning features prominently in the scene.
Avi Arad and Matt Tolmach are producing the sequel, whose screenplay will be credited to frequent tentpole scribes Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci, as well as Jeff Pinkner, based on a previous draft by James Vanderbilt. “The Amazing Spider-Man” grossed $751 million worldwide, and the sequel is scheduled to swing into cinemas in 3D on May 2nd, 2014.
Woodley was nominated for a Golden Globe and won an Independent Spirit Award for her performance as George Clooney’s eldest daughter in Alexander Payne’s “The Descendants.” She was flooded with movie offers in the wake of the film’s success but remained focused on her ABC Family series “The Secret Life of the American Teenager,” which will end its run after its upcoming fifth season. She is attached to star in Gregg Araki’s independent drama “White Bird” and recently wrapped James Ponsoldt’s “The Spectacular Now” with Miles Teller.