×

Shailene Woodley in talks for ‘Spider-Man 2’ (EXCLUSIVE)

'Descendants' thesp would play Mary Jane Watson in Sony sequel

It looks like Mary Jane Watson is back in Peter Parker’s life, as “The Descendants” star Shailene Woodley is in early talks to play the redheaded love interest in Sony’s “The Amazing Spider-Man 2.”

Woodley is the studio’s leading choice to join stars Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone in the Marc Webb-directed sequel, which is preparing to start casting. Character breakdowns have gone out to talent agencies, and Electro is rumored to be one of the villains the filmmakers are considering for the next installment of the hit comicbook franchise.

In addition to thesps to take on Mary Jane Watson and an unspecified villain, the studio is seeking an actor to play Harry Osborn, Peter Parker’s best friend and eventual enemy, played by James Franco in Sam Raimi’s original trilogy that starred Kirsten Dunst as M.J.

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 skedded to swing into theaters in 3D on May 2, 2014.

Woodley was nominated for a Golden Globe and won an Independent Spirit Award for her perf 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. Thesp is attached to star in Gregg Araki’s indie drama “White Bird” and recently wrapped James Ponsoldt’s “The Spectacular Now” with Miles Teller.

She’s repped by Paradigm, the Savage Agency, Principato-Young Entertainment and Felker Toczek Gellman Suddleson.

Popular on Variety

More Film

  • Good Boys Movie

    Box Office: 'Good Boys' Leads Crowded Weekend With $21 Million

    The Bean Bag Boys, the self-appointed nickname for the trio of best friends in Universal’s “Good Boys,” are conquering much more than sixth grade. They are also leading the domestic box office, exceeding expectations and collecting $21 million on opening weekend. “Good Boys,” which screened at 3,204 North American theaters, is a much-needed win for [...]

  • Amanda Awards

    ‘Out Stealing Horses’ Tops Norway’s 2019 Amanda Awards

    HAUGESUND, Norway —  Hans Petter Moland’s sweeping literary adaptation “Out Stealing Horses” put in a dominant showing at Norway’s Amanda Awards on Saturday night, placing first with a collected five awards, including best Norwegian film. Celebrating its 35th edition this year, the Norwegian industry’s top film prize helped kick off the Haugesund Film Festival and [...]

  • Editorial use onlyMandatory Credit: Photo by

    Richard Williams, 'Who Framed Roger Rabbit' Animator, Dies at 86

    Renowned animator Richard Williams, best known for his work on “Who Framed Roger Rabbit,” died Friday at his home in Bristol, England, Variety has confirmed. He was 86. Williams was a distinguished animator, director, producer, author and teacher whose work has garnered three Oscars and three BAFTA Awards. In addition to his groundbreaking work as [...]

  • Instinct

    Locarno Film Review: 'Instinct'

    Now that “Game of Thrones” has finally reached its conclusion, releasing its gifted international ensemble into the casting wilds, will Hollywood remember just what it has in Carice van Houten? It’s not that the statuesque Dutch thesp hasn’t been consistently employed since her startling 2006 breakout in Paul Verhoeven’s “Black Book,” or even that she’s [...]

  • Good Boys Movie

    Box Office: 'Good Boys' Eyes Best Original Comedy Opening of 2019

    Universal’s “Good Boys” is surpassing expectations as it heads toward an estimated $20.8 million opening weekend at the domestic box office following $8.3 million in Friday ticket sales. That’s well above earlier estimates which placed the film in the $12 million to $15 million range, marking the first R-rated comedy to open at No. 1 [...]

  • Pedro Costa’s 'Vitalina Varela' Wins at

    Pedro Costa’s 'Vitalina Varela' Triumphs at Locarno Film Festival

    The 72nd Locarno Film Festival drew to a close Saturday with Portuguese auteur Pedro Costa’s dark and detached film “Vitalina Varela” coming away with several awards together with superlatives from segments of the hardcore cinephile crowd, including jury president Catherine Breillat. In announcing the Golden Leopard prize for the film, as well as best actress [...]

  • Vitalina Varela

    Locarno Film Review: 'Vitalina Varela'

    Frequently beautiful compositions and the theatrical use of a fierce kind of artifice have long been the hallmarks of Portuguese auteur Pedro Costa, regarded by a small but influential group of aesthetes as one of the great filmmakers of our era. For those in tune with his vision, the director’s films offer an exciting lesson [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content