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Shailene Woodley, star of The Descendants and ABC Family’s The Secret Life of the American Teenager, needs to buy her agent a serious cake or something. After landing the role of Mary Jane Watson last week in The Amazing Spider-Man 2, the sequel to Marc Webb’s reboot from this summer, she is closing a deal to star in Divergent, a futuristic YA novel adaptation for Lionsgate and Summit Entertainment. Neil Burger (Limitless) is set to direct.
Drawing comparisons to The Hunger Games (duh), Deadline says Divergent is a Veronica Roth novel in which humans are “divided into factions based on human traits” such as intelligence and selflessness. Woodley would play protagonist Beatrice “Tris” Prior, who learns she is “divergent,” or that she doesn’t belong in any one faction having an equal aptitude for the qualities of all factions. That sounds good, right? Not in this world.
Consider what The Hunger Games did for Jennifer Lawrence and you can see the ceiling for Woodley in this role. But what does this mean for Mary Jane?
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Mary Jane is a small role in the next Spider-Man film. Although there’s no source attributed, the story reveals some details about the story arc for Sony’s next two Spider-Man installments. Borys Kit writes (possible spoilers here):
But the Mary Jane role is proving to be only a very small part in Amazing Spider-Man 2 but blossoms into an integral lead for the planned third movie as the studio seeks to build to the classic “Death of Gwen Stacy” story.
Many suspsected that this story was in play with the casting of Mary Jane in spite of Emma Stone as Gwen Stacy. If both Divergent and The Amazing Spider-Man 2 plan to film next year, it does in a sense confirm that MJ is a small part in this next film, and that Woodley was more like a future investment.