|Mary Jane Watson|
|Appeared in|| Spider-Man|
- "Go get 'em, tiger."
- ―Mary Jane Watson [src]
Mary Jane Watson is an actress who grew up next door to Peter Parker.
- "He's saved my life twice and I've never even seen his face."
- ―Mary Jane Watson [src]
Mary Jane Watson was a popular student in the same high school as her neighbor, Peter Parker, who had a crush on her. and she's the girlfriend of . She was warm-hearted and good-looking, and often doesn't approve the way her boyfriend Flash bullied Peter. During a field trip to a genetics lab, MJ was photographed many times by Peter, who gets distracted and so bitten by the mutated spider, which would transform him in Spider-Man.
MJ started to notice many changes in Peter at school, when, during lunch, he prevented her from falling with incredibly fast reflexes. Flash, angered with him, tried to fight Peter but was easily overpowered to MJ's surprise. At their high school graduation, MJ broke up with Flash and was ready to start a new life, following her dreams as an actress. She didn't have much luck and was forced to work as a simple waitress in a fast-food outlet. After her break-up with Flash, MJ became close to Harry Osborn, Peter's best friend, and she became his girlfriend soon after, but they kept the relationship secret from Peter.
During a fair financed by Oscorp, Mary Jane accompanies Harry in order to meet his father, and during the celebration they're spotted by Peter, who acknowledges this way of their relationship. The fair is interrupted by a mysterious masked criminal, the Green Goblin, who kills all the Oscorp directors and puts in danger MJ's life, who's saved by Spider-Man and she takes an extreme liking to the hero. After a not-so-good audition, she meets up with Peter again as they had seen each other earlier when Peter finds out about her relationship with Harry. After a talk, she leaves, but is ambushed by some thugs. However, she is once again saved by Spider-Man, whom she then thanks with a kiss. Harry tries once again to make MJ meet Norman during a Thanksgiving dinner with Peter and May Parker, but Norman, who's just discovered that Peter is Spider-Man, leaves immediately and humiliates MJ, who's hurt by Harry's refuse to defend her.
When May is attacked by the Green Goblin, Mary Jane goes to the hospital to visit her and meets Peter. She confesses to him that she thinks she's in love with Spider-Man, and he undirectly confesses his true feelings to her. Harry arrives when the two of them are holding each other's hand, and goes to his father claiming he was right and that MJ loves Peter, unintentionally giving Goblin a hint on how hurt his enemy. Shortly after it, Goblin kidnaps MJ and brings her on the Brooklyn Bridge. In here, Goblin makes Spider-Man chose who's to be saved, Mary Jane or a tramway full of children. Spider-Man manages to save them both and then engages his nemesis in a mortal battle.
After all these events, Mary Jane attends to Norman Osborn's funeral, don't knowing he really was the Goblin. During the celebration, she and Peter shares a little kiss, but it's enough for her to recognize Spider-Man's lips and discovering Peter's secret.
After Peter Parker's refusal to have a relationship with her in order to focus on his responsibility as a hero, Mary Jane starts a relationship with John Jameson, the son of the Daily Bugle editor J. Jonah Jameson. When the two of them start talking about marriage, Peter tries to enter again in MJ's life, but she tells him it's too late. She's starting, anyway, to have doubts about her groom-to-be, and tries to kiss him the way Spider-Man kissed her the first time, realizing she doesn't feel the same.
Wanting to understand what she, and Peter, are really feeling, MJ meets him in a cafe, asking him if he still loves her. He tells her he doesn't, despite this being not true, in order to assure to her a normal life with a man she can learn to love. During their meeting, anyway, Doctor Octopus breaks in, since he's searching for Spider-Man and Harry Osborn told him Peter Parker is the key for reaching the hero. In order to convince Parker to send Spider-Man to him, Doc Ock kidnaps Mary Jane. She's brought in an abandoned ware house, which serves as Octopus' hideout and lab. In there, she's found by Spider-Man, who engages a fierce battle with Doctor Octopus. During the fight, Spider-Man loses his mask, and MJ has a confirmation that Peter Parker is actually Spider-Man. After the fight, he tells her that they can't be together, since he'll always have enemies who can treat her life.
During the wedding, anyway, Mary Jane decides she can't marry a man she doesn't love and flees, leaving John at the altar. She reaches Peter, who's in his apartment, and tells him that she wants to stay with him, despite the risks, and manages to convince him to let her in. In that very moment, the police radio Peter is using announces an emergency call and Peter has to go. MJ looks at him, taken by uncertainty, as the hero takes the place of her man and goes out to save the day.
- "Everybody needs help sometimes, Peter. Even Spider-Man."
- ―Mary Jane Watson [src]
Mary Jane is now Peter Parker's girlfriend, and he plans to propose to her as soon as possible. The two seem happy together, but MJ still has doubts for a life shared with a hero with Spider-Man's "mission". She's meanwhile become a theatre actress, but she's quite depressed since Peter doesn't manage to assist to a single representation of The Importance of Being Earnest since he's busy as Spider-Man. She then turns to Peter to discuss the negative criticism she received for lacking an audible voice during her stage performance, seeking consolation. Despite Peter's attempts to reassure her that it's a passing phase of constructive criticism, comparing it to his own endeavors as Spider-Man, she is still depressed; she does not believe he has full insight regarding her dismay, as Peter seemingly comes off as narcissistic for his Spider-Man persona. After attending a rehearsal, she is abruptly informed that she was replaced in her role by another actress, due to wide criticism from all newspaper publishers.
When Harry Osborn, after his first flight as the New Goblin, has an amnesia, he and MJ return friends. They're together during a city celebration for Spider-Man, who's saved the daughter of the police captain, Gwen Stacy. She gets angry when, during the ceremony, Spider-Man kisses Gwen the way they used to do, and, later, she has a quarrel with him, during the dinner Peter wanted to propose to her in. She claims it was their kiss, and Peter replies that Spider-Man kissed the girl, not him. MJ, furious and frustrated for Peter's primadonna attitude, leaves. MJ finds solace with Harry, who tries to help her as a friend. After a while, anyway, Harry recovers his memory and forces MJ to break with Peter, menacing her. MJ so meets Peter and tells him that she doesn't want to see him any more, since she has another man, who Peter than discovers is Harry himself, who he confronts as both Peter Parker and Spider-Man, leaving him disfigured.
MJ sees Peter while she's working as a singer in a nightclub, but he's changed due to the alien costume and just wants to make her jealous in order to get revenge on her, so he dances with Gwen Stacy in front of her. When Gwen realizes what Peter is doing, she excuses herself to Mary Jane and leaves. Peter then engages a fight with the customers and unintentionally beats MJ too, so realizing the black suit is influencing his mind and decides to leave it, unintentionally giving birth to Venom, Eddie Brock's deranged alter ego.
Brock, seeking revenge on Peter Parker, who discovered his secret identity as Spider-Man after witnessing him breaking free from his symbiote costume, allies to Sandman and kidnaps Mary Jane, taking her hostage in a black spider web above a construction site. The subsequent battle sees Spider-Man and the New Goblin (who no longer begrudges Peter after discovering the truth about his father's death) against Venom and the Sandman: the two villains are defeated, but Harry loses his life in the process.
After Harry's funeral, Peter decides it's time to mend his relationship with MJ, and begins by going to the jazz bar and asking her to dance.
Mary Jane is apparently a material girl, only caring for new dresses and big cars. In reality, she shows a cheerful personality in order to hide her bad family condition, with her father always yelling at her and treating her badly. After high school, she tried to realize her ambitions to become an actress.
She is a loyal friend and a warm person, capable of intense love and real feelings. Unlike any popular girls or girlfriends of popular jocks, Mary Jane was never vain nor showed contempt for humble people who were considered losers, notably such as Peter Parker. She is, however, an active and somewhat indecisive dater, and has been the girlfriend, in order, of Flash Thompson, high school football star and bully, Harry Osborn, who cared for her but treated her like a trophy, John Jameson, who wasn't the right person for her, and Peter, who is proved to be the love of her life.
- Peter Parker/Spider-Man - Boyfriend.
- Harry Osborn/New Goblin - Friend and ex-boyfriend.
- Flash Thompson - Ex-boyfriend.
- May Parker - Friend.
- Norman Osborn/Green Goblin - Enemy.
- Eddie Brock/Venom - Enemy.
- Otto Octavius/Doctor Octopus - Enemy.
- Flint Marko/Sandman - Enemy.
- John Jameson - Ex-fiancée.
- Non-Canon (3 films)
Behind the scenes
- Kirsten Dunst wore a red wig in the first film and had to dye her blond hair red to play the role of in the second and third Spider-Man movies.
- 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).
- In the comics, Gwen Stacy had a similar role to the one played by MJ in the movies. This included the famous scene on the Brooklyn Bridge, in which, in the comics, Gwen died, while MJ, in the first movie, was saved by Spider-Man.
Images in chronological order of the film timeline: