A Madame Web movie has been in the ether for a hot minute now. But movement is finally underway. According to Deadline, Dakota Johnson is in talks to play the character in an upcoming film. Given Madame Web’s comics background, the choice is a bit surprising—and incredibly intriguing.
The film, another addition to Sony’s growing Spider-Man Universe franchise, features a script from Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless. S.J. Clarkson is on tap to direct. It’s Sony’s first woman-led superhero flick, joining the Venom films, the forever-upcoming Morbius—which finally drops in April 2022—and 2023’s Aaron Taylor-Johnson-led Kraven the Hunter. In addition to Johnson, Variety reported in mid-March that Sydney Sweeney (Euphoria) has joined Madame Web in an undisclosed role. Ghostbusters: Afterlife‘s Celeste O’Connor will also appear in the film. Finally, Isabela Merced is the latest actress to come on board. Additionally, according to Deadline, Sony has now announced the Madame Web movie will release on July 7, 2023.
Madame Web is a pretty fascinating character to have at the center of a film. Most notably, because she is a long-supporting figure in the comics. And further, has never anchored her own series. An elderly blind woman with a myasthenia gravis, Madame Web—a.k.a. Cassandra Webb—has a life support system that looks like a spiderweb. First appearing in an Amazing Spider-Man issue in the early ’80s, the character generally assists Spider-Man using clairvoyance. Due to her supporting role, she’s never faced off against any villains and, as such, doesn’t really have any evil foes to speak of.
But that’s not to say Sony doesn’t have giant plans for the character. Deadline ominously notes that “sources have stressed it’s possible the project could turn into something else.” (Like a ham sandwich?) So what does this mean exactly? There’s not exactly a comics history featuring younger Cassandra Webb, which is certainly an interesting avenue. But more than likely, Sony will want to set this project in the present, alongside the rest of its Spider-Man Universe roster. Most recently, Deadline noted, “The film will be an origin story of the clairvoyant, whose psychic abilities allow her to see within the spider world.”
There’s also the possibility of a film centered on Julia Carpenter. The character becomes Madame Web after Cassandra Webb passes on her clairvoyance (as well as her blindness) after she’s mortally wounded in a 2010 issue of The Amazing Spider-Man. So while Madame Web is a curious character to frame an entire film around, there are options. We’ll be keeping an eye out for any exciting updates on the Madame Web movie.
Originally published February 3, 2022.