Things are heating up for the Amazing Spider-Man sequel. Just a couple of weeks ago we got confirmation that Marc Webb is returning to direct with Andrew Garfield confirmed to reprise his Spidey role and Emma Stone expected to come back as Gwen Stacy. It was all but assumed that comics love interest Mary Jane Watson would come into play in the follow-up, and now it appears that Webb and co. have settled on the actress to tackle the iconic character: The Descendants star Shailene Woodley. Hit the jump for much more on The Amazing Spider-Man 2 including possible villains and the appearance of a fan-favorite character.
Per Variety, Woodley is in early talks to play Mary Jane Watson in the follow-up. The Secret Life of the American Teenager star showed immense talent opposite George Clooney in last year’s Oscar contender The Descendants, so she seems like a swell addition to the Spider-Man franchise opposite the equally talented Garfield and Stone. The actress is apparently the studio’s top choice for the role, but Variety notes that she’s only in “early talks” so it’s still possible that a deal might not go through.
In addition to Mary Jane and an unspecified villain, the studio is also casting the role of Harry Osborn. Played by James Franco in director Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy, the comics character is Peter Parker’s best friend and, eventually, an antagonist. Variety notes that Electro is rumored to be one of the villains that the filmmakers “are considering” for the pic, but I find it strange/hard to believe that they’re still not committed to a villain even though James Vanderbilt wrote an initial draft of the Amazing Spider-Man 2 screenplay last year that was subsequently rewritten by Alex Kurtzman, Robert Orci, and Jeff Pinkner.
Nevertheless, Electro is an interesting choice for the villain and one that Webb could have some fun with. It also makes sense given the electricty-centered post-credits sequence in The Amazing Spider-Man in which a shadowy figure visited The Lizard in his cell. In the comics, Electro’s name is Max Dillon, a man who gains the ability to control electricity after being struck by lightning. Give the post-credits character’s knowledge about Peter Parker’s parents, I assume he’ll be crafted to tie into the “untold story” of Parker’s origins that was teased in The Amazing Spider-Man and is said to play out through a trilogy of films.
With production set to begin early next year and casting well underway, we should hear more firm word soon about what actors will be joining the sequel—and hopefully we’ll have a clearer picture regarding the villain. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 opens on May 2nd, 2014.