Who Should Play MJ in the Next Spider-Man?

It’s been a rough couple of years for Mary Jane Watson fans. Although there is no denying the delicious chemistry between Emma Stone and Andrew Garfield, who played Gwen Stacy and Peter Parker (Dear Stonefield: Please just get married and make adorable wide-eyed, bushy-browed babies already), most of us knew that Gwen was not long for this franchise. The Amazing Spider-Man 2 would have been a perfect opportunity to introduce MJ, our favorite redhead femme fatale – and that was, in fact, the original plan. The filmmakers went so far as to shoot scenes with Shailene Woodley, which were all eventually cut from the film, without so much as a deleted scene in the DVD extras to tide us over.

So fans were forced to scour the Internet for any shred of MJ movie trivia they could find. In the end, most of what we gathered came from set pictures, and a few leaked details about the scenes: Mary Jane Watson rides a motorcycle (YESSSS). She has a mean dad, who Peter was supposed to play a prank on as Spidey. She lives next door to Peter, and when Gwen comes looking for him with her good-bye note, MJ was supposed to take it and promise to give it to him in a Moment of Prolifically Sad And Unsubtle Movie Metaphors.

Alas, none of those things happened, and now Queen Shailene is probably out of Spider-Man land for good. (Don’t feel sorry for her just yet: as we all know, her star is rising fast – and there may be an Oscar nomination in her future). But with The Amazing Spider-Man 3 set for a 2018 release, there is one pressing question on every Marvel fan’s mind: Who will be playing Mary Jane?

Whoever plays her is going to have to be equal parts tenacious, determined, gutsy, and fun, with just the right amount of vulnerability. Plus, she's got to be able to rock the trademark red hair. We’ve got a few nominations for up-and-coming actresses who might fit the bill:

Imogen Poots

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She caught our attention in 2013 starring in That Awkward Moment opposite Zac Efron, and her subsequently stunning red carpet looks. But there is something appealingly unrefined about this beauty that puts her at the top of our MJ consideration list. Plus, her last name is "Poots" and that's funny and yes, I am 5-years-old.

Holland Roden

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The Teen Wolf star has all the charm and badassery required to play the aspiring actress that is Mary Jane Watson. Plus, she's a built-in redhead, which is definitely a perk.

Antonia Thomas

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If you have not seen this girl on Misfits, clear your Netflix queue. This girl is so fierce that Bustle even nominated her as a top choice for a future Doctor on Doctor Who. She can transition from coy to kick-ass faster than you can say damn.

Kathryn Prescott

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This talented British actress is making some serious waves as the lead of MTV's Finding Carter, and becoming more of a household name in the US. If her serious acting chops playing Carter and playing the tenacious and deeply-loving Emily Fitch on Skins aren't enough to bowl you over, consider how adorable she would look next to Andrew Garfield.

Shay Mitchell

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This is one actress that I hope doesn't get pigeon-holed into a particular type of role just because she's played it for a long time. Well-known for her portrayal of Emily Fields on Pretty Little Liars, she clearly has the range and depth to hit the big screen as MJ, not to mention the real-world savvy of this character, who is also known for paving her own way to success.

Natalie Dormer

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I don't even watch Game of Thrones, and I worship this girl. Not only have we tapped her for a role in a superhero movie before, but she is seamlessly making a transition to the big screen with Mockingjay this November, with an edgy haircut to boot. She has the perfect attitude to play our heroine MJ without letting all the Spider-Man antics overshadow her.

Liana Liberato

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I think this girl is about to blow up in a big way. Most recently seen as the BFF to Chloe Grace Moretz in If I Stay , she is also starring in the upcoming Nicholas Sparks film, The Best of Me. So far we have seen that she is candid, she is fresh, and she is more than capable of holding her own as a romantic lead, all of which scream MJ material to me.

Shelley Hennig

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I promise I'm not trying to pimp out the entire Teen Wolf cast, but this girl has proven herself a badass sass-master worthy of MJ in one season of this show alone. You love her even when you shouldn't.

Shailene Woodley

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I'm not over it. I'LL NEVER BE OVER IT. QUEEN SHAILENE, YOU WOULD HAVE BEEN SO PERFECT IN THIS ROLE. Now all we have to commemorate your brief stint in the Spidey world is one sad half second image of the back of your head as the Rhino tears the city to shreds.

Images: Getty