The character of Mary Jane Watson, who was set to be played by Shailene Woodley, has been cut from The Amazing Spider-Man 2.

Woodley signed on to star in the movie as Mary Jane, who is the future love interest to Peter Parker (Andrew Garfield).

However, the decision was made to remove her character from the upcoming sequel due to long-term planning for future Spider-Man movie plots.

The actress said in an interview with Entertainment Weekly: "Of course I'm bummed. But I am a firm believer in everything happening for a specific reason... Based on the proposed plot, I completely understand the need for holding off on introducing [Mary Jane] until the next film."

Director Marc Webb explained in a statement: "I made a creative decision to streamline the story and focus on Peter and [Emma Stone's] Gwen [Stacy] and their relationship.

"Shailene is an incredibly talented actress and while we only shot a few scenes with Mary Jane, we all love working with her."

The Amazing Spider-Man 2 will be released on May 2, 2014.

Release dates have also been revealed for the third and fourth instalments of the Spider-Man franchise, which are set to open in 2016 and 2018.

The Descendants star Woodley will next be seen in the dystopian drama Divergent.