Image Credit: David Gabber/PR Photos; Marvel EntertainmentGwen Stacy is an incredibly important figure in comic book history. Sadly, the vast majority of moviegoers probably only know her as “That random girl in Spider-Man 3 whose existence made no sense, much like everything in Spider-Man 3.” Well, Gwen’s about to make a big comeback. Like, Downey-Jr.-in-Iron-Man big. As EW’s Nicole Sperling reported last night, Emma Stone will be playing Spidey’s original love interest. (Yes, Emma Stone seems better-suited to play red-haired Mary Jane, but Hollywood is Bizarro-world and life is chaos.) Which begs the question: Who is Gwen Stacy, anyways?
Stacy was a late addition to the Spider-Man mythos, first appearing as a fellow classmate when Peter Parker started attending Empire State University. Giving hope to nerds everywhere, Gwen found Peter’s smarts ridiculously attractive. (Isn’t college, like, a billion times better than high school?) Most of Gwen’s relatively short character history is fraught with indie-movie tragedy: Her relationship with Peter was on a perpetual spin cycle, with misunderstandings and poor circumstances constantly conspiring against the two lovebirds. Gwen was never a particularly well-rounded character in her original incarnation — when you got past her gorgeous sadness, she was boooring — but in the rebooted Ultimate universe, Gwen was reimagined as a punkish, semi-badass cool girl. It’s a good bet that Stone will be playing something closer to this later Gwen Stacy.
There’s also the important matter — Potential Spoiler Alert — of Gwen’s untimely death, one of the most defining moments in comics history. (Despite a couple of clone storylines, it’s also the one comic book fatality that hasn’t been retconned out of existence.) There are plenty of variables at work in the Spider-Man reboot, but the fact that they seem to be refocusing the storyline on Gwen could point to a more tragic storyline.
PopWatchers, is all this casting news getting you more excited about the new Spider-Man movie? Does the potential for a full-on romantic triangle fill you with glee, or dread? Personally, I’m a Mary Jane loyalist, but after ten years of Kirsten Dunst, it might be time to change my allegiance.