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Note: This article is about Mary Jane Watson from the Sam Raimi film series. For mainstream Mary Jane Watson, see: Mary Jane Watson.


Hero Overview
Go get 'em, tiger.
~ Mary Jane's famous line.
Everybody needs help sometimes, Peter. Even Spider-Man.
~ Mary Jane telling Peter that he shouldn't be alone, and she wants to help him after he refused.
Peter, I can't survive without you.
~ Mj confess her true feelings for Peter.
I think I always knew, all this time, who you really were.
~ Mary Jane told Peter that she knew his secret after that kiss in the alley from the first movie.

Mary Jane Watson, often named as MJ, is the deuteragonist of Sam Raimi's Spider-Man Film Trilogy. She is the childhood love interest and later girlfriend of Peter Parker (Spider-Man).

She is also the ex-girlfriend of Flash Thompson, Harry Osborn and the ex-fiancée of John Jameson.

She was played by Kirsten Dunst (who also played Judy Shepherd in Jumanji, Torrance Shipman in Bring it On, Anastasia (child) in the movie of the same name, and Christy Fimple in Small Soldiers) in all three films in the Raimi Spider-Man Trilogy between 2002 and 2007.

History

Spider-Man

Mary Jane is Peter Parker's childhood and high school crush. At the time, she was dating the high school bully, Flash Thompson, but breaks up with him at their high school graduation ceremony.

Desperate to escape her abusive, alcoholic father, Mary Jane begins to pursue a career in acting, but she secretly waitresses at a diner after being rejected at an audition.

Peter's friend, Harry Osborn is her first boyfriend after leaving high school, but when she was rescued by Spider-Man which the festival was attacked by The Green Goblin, she become attracted to him.

One rainy night, after leaving an audition, MJ walked through the streets on the way to dinner with Harry after having a conversation with Peter.

However, she caught the attention of a group of rapists, and they chased after her. MJ tried to outrun them, but they quickly caught up to her. The group quickly formed a circle round with an alley wall trapping her from behind.

As the first thug reached for her, MJ yelled "get off me" and smacked him with her purse. She turned around and kicked another guy in the groin, but a third attacker grabbed her from behind and shoved her up against the wall as another thug pulled out a knife.

MJ's jacket was pulled off as she was pinned against the wall, but just when it looked like she was doomed, her assailants were miraculously pulled off of her.

Hardly daring to believe it, MJ slowly turned around and saw Spider-Man had once again come to her rescue. MJ watched with admiration as Spider-Man knocked out the thugs, and she realized that he was not wearing his mask.

After the fight was over, MJ approached Spider-Man in an attempt to figure out who he was. However, Spider-Man ran away as she approached ignoring her cry of "wait." MJ ran after him, but he had vanished without a trace.

Disappointed and confused, MJ searched in vain for Spider-Man when suddenly she heard a voice say, "you have a knack for getting in trouble", from somewhere behind her.

Spinning around MJ laughed with delight as she found Spider-Man had stayed to talk with her this time, though he was hanging upside down from one of his webs. "You have a knack for saving my life", MJ replied to him. "I think I have a superhero stalker", she said in a flirtatious manner.

It seemed to her that for some reason Spider-Man enjoyed saving her. "I was in the neighborhood", Spider-Man replied. MJ wasn't sure what to say to him, so she told him the one thing she was sure of, "You are amazing". Spider-Man ruefully said "Some people don't think so" to which MJ immediately said "But you are". "Nice to have a fan" Spider-Man said gratefully. "Do I get to say thank you this time", MJ asked, but she really didn't know how to thank someone for saving her life, nothing seemed good enough.

Suddenly an idea came to her, and she reached towards Spider-Man's mask intending to pull it off and admit her love for him to his actual face. However, she was stopped by an urgent whisper of "wait" by Spider-Man.

MJ realized that Spiderman wanted to keep his identity a secret, and she realized there was a way to keep his secret while still showing him how she felt. MJ reached up towards his neck and slowly started to roll down Spider-Man's mask.

First his neck, then chin were revealed and finally his lips. MJ desperately wanted to keep going, but forced herself to stop. "He must know what I'm about to do", MJ thought, and she prayed that he would not ask her to stop. She tenderly placed her hands on the side of his face and leaned in to place her lips on his.

MJ began to slowly kiss Spider-Man's lower lip and was delightfully surprised when Spider-Man not only accepted her kiss, but also kissed her back enthusiastically.

His mouth trapped hers in a warm embrace, and he seemed unwilling to let the kiss end. "He's enjoying this even more than I am", MJ thought. Delighted by the thought she kissed him even more deeply for a few more seconds until their lips unwillingly parted.

MJ briefly kissed his upper lip then nuzzled his chin with her nose. After delivering a final kiss on his chin, she unwillingly began to roll his mask back up.

MJ was going to tell Spider-Man that she loved him, but the moment his mask was back on Spider-Man shot up over the wall and out of sight. Then, MJ started to laugh and smile uncontrollably as she began to think about what had just happened.

She had just had the most incredible kiss of her life, with a man suspended hanging upside down in the pouring rain. And though she had no idea who he was, MJ knew they were madly in love with each other.

Later, she grows distant from Harry and closer to Peter when she realizes how much he cares for her. After Harry sees Peter and Mary Jane holding hands, he gets angry and breaks up with her.

Harry's father Norman Osborn, now knows of Spider-Man's secret identity, and finds out about his feelings for Mary Jane from his son.

As his criminal alter ego, The Green Goblin, he kidnaps her and holds her over the Queensboro Bridge, telling Spider-Man that he must choose between her and a group of children caught in the Roosevelt Island tram car. Then, Spider-Man manages to save both Mary Jane and the children and The Green Goblin is killed in an ensuing fight.

At Norman's funeral, Mary Jane tells Peter that she loves him, and they kiss. But Peter, who decides that they can't be together for her safety, gently rejects her and tell her that they should be friends for now. She was heartbroken, but as he leaves, she realizes that her kiss with Peter reminded her of the one she shared with Spider-Man and suspects that he's the superhero as she watches him go.

Spider-Man 2

Two years later, Mary Jane still wants to start a relationship with Peter who still resists, because he fears for her safety. In her frustration, Mary Jane goes on to have a relationship with John Jameson, the astronaut son of The Daily Bugle publisher J. Jonah Jameson.

Prior to this, Harry said that she was waiting for him. Much to Peter's delight, he sees her billboard picturing her modeling for a perfume near Joe's Pizza where he worked at before getting fired from it.

When Peter temporarily retires from being Spider-Man, he tries to reconnect with Mary Jane and goes on to say that he has changed and is ready to be around her now. But Mary Jane pushes him away at the time, because she was getting married to John Jameson, but she secretly wanted to start a relationship with Peter.

She was also angry at Peter, because he fails to see her star in The Importance of Being Earnest which John, Harry, Aunt May and her sick mother have all seen (even her father went backstage to ask for money). She didn't know that he was Spider-Man which was why he was late for her play, as she selfishly at alls him an empty seat.

Peter's absences also verifies her suspicion that he's Spider-Man, but waiting for a chance of him admitting it or seeing him unmasked.

When Peter does arrive to see it the first time, a Snooty Usher stops him for being late since Peter was busy. The second attempt to see it, which is successful, is when Peter tries to reconnect with her. Mary Jane was surprised that Peter saw her in her second play, but was still upset that he failed to see her first play.

After Mary Jane kisses John, in a manner that is reminiscent of the upside-down kiss between her and Spider-Man from the first film, she realizes that she does not truly love John and still wants a relationship with Peter.

The next day, she meets Peter in a coffee shop where she asks for a kiss to confirm her belief that he's Spider-Man and asks him if he loves her which he replies "I don't" for the sake of his superhero responsibilities and her safety.

Just before Peter can kiss her, Doctor Octopus kidnaps her and runs away which Doctor Octopus takes her to an abandoned pier where Spider-Man confronts him.

Then, Spider-Man pulls his mask off in hopes of getting Doctor Octopus to come back to his human senses and Mary Jane sees that Spider-Man and Peter Parker are one and the same.

After Doctor Octopus reforms and sacrifices himself to save New York, Spider-Man and Mary Jane share a moment together where Spider-Man finally admits that he does love Mary Jane, but cares more for her safety.

At the film's end, Mary Jane prepares to marry John Jameson, but she leaves him at the altar, goes to Peter's apartment, reveals that she's still loved Peter and is prepared to face whatever risks their relationship may bring as a result of his alter-ego which they kiss. After the kiss, they heard a siren and her final words are "Go get them, tiger."

Spider-Man 3

Both Mary Jane and Harry now know that Peter is Spider-Man. In the film, Peter and Mary Jane are in a romantic relationship and Peter is intending to ask Mary Jane to marry him.

When he reports the good news to his Aunt May, she was delighted and asks Peter to give her engagement ring as a gift to Mary Jane. However, Peter becomes slightly overconfident due to Spider-Man's success.

Meanwhile, Mary Jane's Broadway debut takes a turn for the worse when her performance gets bad reviews. Unaware of this incident, Peter accidentally pushes Mary Jane away, thinking he understands her situation. She also begins a rivalry with Gwen Stacy for Peter's affections.

Having been replaced on Broadway by her understudy and then having to work at a jazz club, Mary Jane and Peter's relationship worsens when Spider-Man is unexpectedly kissed by Gwen Stacy in front of a whole crowd of people the same way Mary Jane kissed Spider-Man in the first film.

When Peter attempts to propose to Mary Jane that same night, Gwen appears at the same restaurant and talks with him. Then, Mary Jane leaves, furious.

Mary Jane, feeling alone and despondent, calls Harry, who recently lost his memory and hatred of Spider-Man after being defeated in an aerial battle as the New Goblin. They renew their bond, and in a moment of joy, Mary Jane kisses Harry. Realizing what she is doing, Mary Jane quickly leaves. The emotional turmoil restores Harry's memories and his mission to destroy Spider-Man as the New Goblin.

He confronts MJ in her apartment and threatens to kill Peter if she does not break up with him. Following Harry's orders, she breaks up with Peter. Peter, heartbroken and upset, refuses to tolerate these tragedies and turns to the symbiote suit which enhances his aggression and controls him.

One night, Peter decides to go to Mary Jane's jazz club with Gwen. He shows her up on stage by playing the piano, and makes a big show of dancing with Gwen. Gwen, realizing that she is being used as a prop to make Mary Jane jealous, apologizes and leaves. Mary Jane is still visibly shaken when Peter (the suit controlling him) confronts her at the bar, and he is assaulted by two of the club's bouncers.

A fight ensues, and Mary Jane tries to stop Peter. Thinking she is another bouncer, Peter strikes her. Peter, realizing what the evil symbiote is trying to do, leaves the club, leaving Mary Jane completely heartbroken and hurt. Peter tears the symbiote off his body at a church bell-tower. During the struggle, it falls on Eddie Brock standing below and creates Venom.

At his apartment, Peter fears that even though the symbiote was responsible for current events, he may not be able to put Mary Jane first, and gives his wedding ring back to Aunt May, who convinces him that if he tries his best, he can put things right.

Meanwhile, Peter sees Mary Jane in her apartment and walks away (feeling that he won't be able to date her again). Mary Jane thought she noticed something and didn't see Peter, she felt sorry for being so selfish to him again she then decided to go and see Peter in hopes of reconciling with him. But Venom ambushes and kidnaps Mary Jane, holding her hostage at a construction site where a climatic battle takes place between the team of Venom and The Sandman against Spider-Man.

Spider-Man was nearly killed when he was choked by Venom and Sandman hammering him while Mary Jane watches in horror as she thought her boyfriend was dying but at that moment, Harry Osborn a.k.a. the "New Goblin" threw a pumpkin bomb at Sandman and knocked Venom aside with his glider, saving Spider-Man's life and a battle begins.

During the fight, Harry defeats Sandman, but is impaled by Venom with his own glider after jumping in the way of Venom attempting to impale Peter. After Peter defeats Venom, he goes over to the mortally wounded Harry, alongside whom Mary Jane is also present. Harry dies in Mary Jane's arms after mending his friendship with Peter.

After attending their friend's funeral, Peter and Mary Jane reconcile and dance together at her jazz club, the two are now back as a couple.

Personality and Traits

Mary Jane Watson is a kind, funny, beautiful and caring young woman. She ran with the stereotypical popular crowd in school, being surrounded by people who had enticing physical features and great skills in ways of preforming arts or sports.

While MJ's closest friends and boyfriend were rude, snobbish, arrogant, vain and uncaring, she did not judge anyone based on looks or skills but rather by personality like her former boyfriend, Flash.

Mary Jane herself was beautiful and drew attention from all the boys but never let it go to her head. Instead, she used her features merely as an advantage for acting and modelling and worked to develop independence and smarts.

Mary-Jane sadly had faults that only brought herself down, such as insecurity and an urge to impress people she deemed important, both of which most likely came from her abusive, dirty father.

Mary Jane was also friendly towards Peter Parker despite him being an unpopular nerd. MJ had no one treat her with respect for anything other than her looks before she and Peter developed a stronger friendship and might not have noticed until after high school graduation. She even flirted with him and called him "Tiger".

It is quite possibly because of this, Mary Jane became so smitten by Spider-Man so quickly and later fell for Peter (oblivious that they were one and the same) as he was very kind to her and cared about other things than just her looks.

In the middle of the film, MJ was defined by three major personas: Her strong sense of generosity, her crush on Spider-Man and her extreme craving for some general affection. Combined these are what lead MJ to initiate a kiss with Spider-Man as it fulfilled all three traits at once.

After her kiss with Spider-Man (and before being insulted by Norman and Harry) MJ was shown to be a great deal happier and almost ecstatic, because it had perhaps been her first kiss with someone who loved her back for more than just aesthetic reasons and while she was kissing him, she most likely felt Spider-Man's love for her: something that would have enhanced the sensation of the kiss even more.

Physical Appearance

MJ was an 18 or 19 year old who had white skin, long red hair and blue eyes in the first movie.
Mary jane

She sometimes has patches of red on her face and is almost always seen with red lipstick.

MJ is stunningly beautiful as she sports a very smooth, thin and unblemished body.




Relationships

Peter Parker (Spider-Man)

Mary Jane and Peter knew each other since they were both six years of age with Peter falling in love with her instantly. MJ was unaware of this fact and just wanted to be friends.

The depth of their relationship before the events of the movie is unknown but it can be assumed that they were friends for a few years until MJ feel into the popular clique and Peter feel into the academic, unpopular clique.

After this they seemed to stay in contact but interacted with each other very little although MJ was still normally nice to Peter as she was the only person on the school bus to tell the driver to let him on and tried to defend him from her boyfriends violent bullying.

Before their relationship really developed they shared three friendly moments: MJ posing for Peter's camera on a field trip, Peter saving her from falling in the lunchroom and school and a rather meaningful conversation about their futures one night.

After graduation, MJ's life began going downhill as her dreams of becoming an actress was put on hold after a failed audition, and she took a job as a low budget waitress, a fact that she felt comfortable revealing only to Peter.

MJ seemed to start taking notice that Peter's company made her feel happier than that of her other shallow friends and from then on was always glad to see him. Sometime after this she flirted with him briefly and called him "tiger".

They intended to dine together on thanksgiving with Harry, Aunt May and Norman Osborn but after an argument with Harry, MJ and Norman left. MJ and Peter saw each other again when they visited Aunt May in the hospital and MJ confessed her love for Spider-Man to Peter (not knowing Peter was Spider-Man).

They talked about the superhero and Peter, in an intense and sentimental moment, relieved his feelings for MJ through a moving poetic speech. MJ found herself now falling for Peter and gently held his hand, she looked about to lean in to kiss him but Harry's arrival broke up the moment.

The last time MJ was seen with Peter was at Uncle Ben's gravestone where MJ hugged Peter to comfort him. It was here that MJ told Peter that he was the only person who made her believe that being herself was a good thing and declared her love for him. MJ then took Peter's face and kissed him tenderly and passionately. MJ assumed that this was their first kiss when in reality she and Peter had already shared a kiss while he was still in his Spider-Man costume.

In Spider-Man 2, Mary Jane still wanted to start a relationship with Peter, but he didn't want to as he feared she would become a target for his enemies. Peter as Spider-Man was late for her play, which made Mary Jane disappointed, and she began dating John Jameson which deeply upsets Peter.

She still remained disappointed with Peter as he gave up his Spider-Man identity in hopes of reconciling with her. She was kidnapped by Doc Ock to be used a trap for Spider-Man which made Peter return as the web-swinging hero once again. When she saw Spider-Man with his mask off, revealing himself as Peter Parker, she realized that he was late for her play because of his superhero activities. Peter says to her that they cannot be together as he would always have enemies and hands Mary Jane over to John Jameson.

Mary Jane then leaves John at the altar as she realized that she cannot be with him and wanted to be with Peter as she now knows who he is and wanting to face some risks with him. This shows that Mary Jane realizes that Peter is the love of her life.

After the events of Spider-Man 2, Peter and Mary Jane are now in a romantic relationship.

Trivia

  • During her childhood, her abusive father always told her that she wasn't worth anything and no man would ever want her, despite this, she has dated a few men in her life such as Flash Thompson, Harry Osborn, her ex-fiancée John Jameson and Peter Parker.
  • Throughout the Spider-Man Trilogy, Mary Jane had always wanted to act on stage, this had had due to acting at a very young as implied by Peter.
  • Kirsten Dunst wore a red wig in the first film and had to dye her blond hair to red in order to play the role of Mary Jane Watson in Spider-Man 2 and Spider-Man 3.
  • Alicia Witt were considered for the role by Sam Raimi before Kirsten Dunst was cast.
  • Kirsten Dunst won two MTV Movie Awards for the first movie; one for the Best Female Performance, and one for the Best Kiss.
  • Kirsten Dunst decided to audition for MJ after learning that Tobey Maguire had been cast, feeling the film would have a more independent feel. She earned the role a month before shooting in an audition in Berlin.
  • Kate Hudson and Tara Reid were considered for the role of Mary Jane Watson. Hudson was a heavy favorite for the role but turned it down in order to appear in The Four Feathers (2002).
  • Alicia Witt, Mena Suvari, Kate Bosworth, Elizabeth Banks, Eliza Dushku and Elisha Cuthbert auditioned for the role of Mary-Jane Watson. Dushku's screen test can be seen on the DVD special features.
  • When the project began in the late 1980s, the role of Mary Jane Watson was considered for many actresses, including Jennifer Jason Leigh, Ally Sheedy, Jodie Foster, Natasha Richardson, Phoebe Cates, Tatum O'Neal, Bridget Fonda, Lori Loughlin, Diane Lane, Sarah Jessica Parker, Brooke Shields, Kyra Sedgwick, Justine Bateman, Nicole Kidman, Julia Roberts, Molly Ringwald, Jennifer Aniston, Uma Thurman, Jennifer Connelly, Winona Ryder, Christina Applegate, Cameron Diaz, Alyssa Milano, Tori Spelling, Neve Campbell, Tiffani Thiessen, Alyson Hannigan and Drew Barrymore. But when the project eventually went into pre-production, all of them were considered too old for the part.
  • This version of Mary Jane isn't very well liked, due to her being kind of a jerk to Peter and constantly cheating on him.

Navigation

          Spider-Man Movie Heroes

Sam Raimi series
Spider-Man: Peter Parker/Spider-Man | Mary Jane Watson | Harry Osborn/New Goblin | Aunt May | General Slocum | Uncle Ben | Flash Thompson
Spider-Man 2: John Jameson
Spider-Man 3: Gwen Stacy

Marc Webb series
The Amazing Spider-Man: Peter Parker/Spider-Man | Gwen Stacy | George Stacy | Aunt May | Curt Connors/Lizard
The Amazing Spider-Man 2: Felicia Hardy

Marvel Cinematic Universe
Spider-Man: Homecoming: Peter Parker/Spider-Man | May Parker | Michelle Jones | Happy Hogan | Tony Stark/Iron Man | Ned Leeds | Liz Toomes | Aaron Davis | F.R.I.D.A.Y.
Spider-Man: Far From Home: Nick Fury | Maria Hill | Skrulls (Talos & Soren)

Spider-Verse
Into the Spider-Verse: Miles Morales/Spider-Man | Peter Parker | Spider-Gwen | Spider-Man Noir | Peni Parker | Spider-Ham | Aunt May | Ultimate Spider-Man

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