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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 than he shouldn't be alone and she want to help him after he refuse.
Peter, I can't survive without you.
~ Mj confess her true feelings for Peter.
I think I know all this time who you really are.
~ Mary Jane told Peter that she know 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 Spiderman had once again come to her rescue. MJ watched with admiration as Spider-Man knocked out thugs and she realized that he was not wearing his mask.

After the fight was over, MJ approached Spiderman 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 Spiderman 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". Spiderman 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 Spiderman'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 Spiderman.

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 Spiderman'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 Spiderman 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 watch 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.

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 love 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.

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 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. 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 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 in the same) as he was very kind to her 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 18 or 19 years old girl with white skin, long red hair and blue eyes in the first movie.

She sometimes has patches of red on her face and always seen with red lipstick. MJ is stunningly beautiful and has 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, Mary Jane having moved into the neighbourhood and even though Peter feel head over heels for 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 revieling only to Peter.

MJ seemed to start taking notice that Peter's compony 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 togeter 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 Spiderman to Peter (not knowing Peter was Spiderman).

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 graveston 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 tenderely and passionatley. 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 realised 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 realised 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 realises 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

  • In the first movie, she have red head color while the second and third movie, she has more brownish red.
  • Throughout the Spider-Man Trilogy, she had always wanted to act on stage, this had had due to acting at a very young as implied by Peter.
  • Mary Jane had a similar situation at the climax of the first installment to Gwen Stacy in the comics as both were damsels in distress on top of a NY bridge, both wear the love interest of Spider-Man, both got kidnapped by The Green Goblin.
  • In the first movie, she was afraid of The Green Goblin while the second and third one, she wasn't afraid anymore since she got her hero and she's very brave which that make her more mature.
  • In the first and second movie, she don't sing until the third one and she got a pretty singing voice.
  • During her childhood, her abusive father always told her that she was never worth everything 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.
  • Without her parents knowing, she secretly want to be a actress and head to the city so she can get out of her childhood home and wishing that her father won't be mean to her.
  • Even though she was in love with Spider-Man in the first movie, she always loved Peter Parker after he confessed his feelings in the first one (until Peter decide to be as her friend until the second one which he admits that he always loved her and she felt the same way even though he's Spider-Man).
  • Unlike her comic book version, she only appears in the school bus instead go to Peter's house by saying "Face it Tiger. You just hit the Jackpot." She didn't date Flash in the comic book like she did in the first movie, she didn't met John Jameson in the comic book like she did in the second movie and she didn't get married in the third movie like she did marry Peter in the comic book.
  • 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 (the scene under the rain with Tobey Maguire).
  • She's very similar to all the heroines like Minnie Mouse, Amy Rose, Kairi, etc.
  • It was unknown if Kirsten Dunst was coming back as Mary Jane Watson before Spider-Man 4 was cancelled in 2010.
  • MJ's age is never confirmed since she graduated high school with Peter which they are presumably the same age. If so, MJ is one of the few to be the same age as her kissing partner
  • She's the first woman of the now famous Spider Man kiss and love interest in Spider-Man Trilogy. Not to mention that she was Peter's first love before Peter like girls (he mention it at the beginning at the movie).
  • MJ is the only kisser to (in her mind) not know her kissing partner.
  • The scene when Peter and Mary Jane talk outside at night was shot at 4 am, and had to be shot quickly due to sunrise approaching. Kirsten Dunst also commented that it was a very cool morning weather-wise, and points out that her thermal underwear pants can be briefly seen peeking out above her pants line.
  • Elizabeth Banks auditioned for the role of Mary-Jane Watson before being cast as Betty Brant.
  • 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, 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.
  • The reason MJ is so annoyed that Peter missed her play is because he was the one who encouraged her acting ability.
  • Mary Jane met John Jameson at Enriques, the diner MJ worked at in the first film. A trucker pinched her bottom and she dumped a plate of spaghetti in his lap. When Enrique demanded she apologise, she was thinking of caving in when John stepped in. His car battery had died, and he was waiting for a tow-truck. He pretended to be an FBI agent causing Enrique to back down, and MJ quit her job. They started seeing each other not long after.
  • Mary Jane's parents have split up since the first film. Apparently Mr. Watson has changed slightly since the divorce.
  • All of the screams Kirsten Dunst had for this film were recycled from Spider-Man 2 (2004).
  • The photograph of Mary Jane next to Peter's police scanner is the picture he took of her at the science exhibit in Spider-Man (2002).
  • The song that Mary Jane performs on stage is from the Irving Berlin stage play "Annie Get Your Gun".
  • Mary Jane wasn't originally going to be in the taxi in the film's climactic fight. This was changed during the middle of shooting. Gwen was supposed to be captured while MJ would have persuaded Harry to help Peter. The change was made at a late stage and Kirsten Dunst was not happy about it. Sam Raimi even apologized to her.
  • After Mary Jane "breaks up" with Peter and before Peter and Harry talk, they are on a street named Jane, which is part of her name.

Navigation

          Spider-Man Movie Heroes

Sam Raimi series
Spider-Man: Peter Parker/Spider-Man | Mary Jane Watson | Harry Osborn/New Goblin | Aunt May | J. Jonah Jameson | 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 series
Spider-Man: Homecoming: Peter Parker/Spider-Man | May Parker

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