By EW Staff
Updated January 10, 2003 at 05:00 AM EST
Kirsten Dunst: Gary Lewis/Camera Press/Retna

Why Kirsten Dunst is on the new A list

AGE 20

WHY SHE’S A-LIST Though ”Spider-Man”’s teen dream Mary Jane is a veteran actress with three dozen movies on her résumé, starring in the biggest hit of 2002 gave Dunst extra cred. That upside-down kiss is now seared into the brainpans of moviegoers and Sony executives, who upped her price for the sequel to a reported $8 million.

WHAT’S NEXT Expect both quirky indie fare (”Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind,” from a script by ”Adaptation” mindbender Charlie Kaufman, currently in production) and glossy studio movies (Sony’s drama ”Mona Lisa Smile,” with Julia Roberts, due Nov. 21). ”Levity,” with Billy Bob Thornton, premieres at January’s Sundance Film Festival, with an eye toward a spring release; production of 2004’s ”The Amazing Spider-Man” begins in February.