By Darren Franich
Updated July 30, 2020 at 05:34 PM EDT
Tina Gill/PR Photos; Bob Charlotte/PR Photos
  • Movie

Image Credit: Tina Gill/PR Photos; Bob Charlotte/PR PhotosEven though Spider-Man 1 isn’t perfect and Spider-Man 3 is awful, you could make a decent case for the Spider-Man trilogy as the most successful adaptation of a comic book into a complete cinematic saga. The origin story isn’t changed very much. The key characters all appear. The costume is retro-fabulous. (No black leather here). But for me, the trilogy could never quite get over one hurdle: the woman thing. Kirsten Dunst was nominally playing Mary Jane Watson, but she was really more of a mash-up of Mary Jane and Gwen Stacy, Spidey’s first girlfriend. Through no fault of Dunst’s, the cinematic Mary Jane became more nonsensical with each movie — especially in 3, when a personality-free Gwen Stacy herself actually appeared for a two-second love triangle. (Adding to the confusion: the on-screen Gwen Stacy was a model, just like Mary Jane in the comics.) So I was incredibly excited to read yesterday’s report by EW’s Nicole Sperling that both Mary Jane and Gwen will be front and center in the upcoming Spider-Man reboot.

According to the report, the two actresses in hottest contention for the roles right now are Emma Stone (for Mary Jane) and Mia Wasikowska (for Gwen Stacy.) I read a lot of Spider-Man growing up, so I’d like to throw my own brilliant casting suggestions into the pot. But truthfully, I’m hard-pressed to come up with two better actresses for their respective parts. Emma Stone is a vivacious on-screen presence, and I’m betting she could re-infuse Mary Jane with all the energy that the earlier trilogy mostly ignored.

Wasikowska could have the harder job here. Gwen was never a particularly deep character, despite having one of the most tragic destinies in comic history. (After forty years, do you still need a spoiler alert?) Still, given her moody turns on In Treatment and in Alice in Wonderland, I’m betting she could make a perfect shy-dark foil for the happy-go-lucky Mary Jane.

PopWatchers, who would you like to see play Spidey’s galpals? Early word has indicated that we’ll be seeing high school-era Spidey, but can we get a consensus going for the College Years? Let’s hear it for Empire State University!


  • Movie
  • PG-13
  • Sam Raimi