Dakota Johnson’s Madame Web Movie Might Not Be What You Expect
In the ever-changing world of superhero movie franchises, Sony’s Spider-Man universe has developed quite a unique reputation. The franchise – which aims to make live-action movies around Spider-Man-adjacent characters who exist (largely) outside of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Spider-Man movie continuity – has made some unexpected decisions and fun along the way. So far it has consisted of two Venom payments, a long delay Morbius film, and a number of additional film and TV projects underway. Sony’s plans for its Marvel Universe surprised the internet once again on Thursday, when it was announced that Dakota Johnson was in talks to star in a Madame Web solo movie.
While Madame Web has been rumored to be in the works one way or another since 2019, with Jessica Jones alum SJ Clarkson has lined up to direct, this casting update has the internet perplexed, especially given Madame Web’s unique position in the Marvel Comics sphere. The original version of the character, Cassandra Webb, is traditionally depicted as a blind, super-powered elderly woman connected to a cobweb-like life support system, which functions more as a handy plot device for other heroes and villains than as a standalone superhero. This fact not only left fans wondering why the 32-year-old Johnson would be cast as Madame Web, but what Madame Web the film is even said to be on point, with memes and copypasta quickly created from the character’s limited role in the comics. Although we are realistic yet far from seeing potentially Madame Web become a reality, there’s a chance the project will be something very different from the story the internet (and even some journalists) assume it to be. Sure, this could end up being a “young Cassandra Webb” film – but it could also be a film surrounding her successor, Julia Carpenter.
Created by Jim Shooter and Mike Zeck in 1984 Secret Wars storyline, Julia accidentally received superpowers in a secret government study conducted by the Commission and began functioning as the second Spider-Woman. After operating in the corrupt government-created Freedom Force, Julia broke ranks and became a true hero, before being inducted into the West Coast Avengers, Secret Defenders and Force Works. She has also participated in a number of solo adventures, including against Death Web, a group who have also received superpowers from the Commission. After dealing with the kidnapping of her daughter Rachel, Julia quit being a superhero and returned decades later as Arachne during the events of the Civil War. She then received Madame Web’s powers – as well as her blindness – just before Cassandra Webb died. As Madame Web, Julia handled the events of Spider-Island, as well as the events of the spider worms and Dead No More: The Clone Conspiracy scenarios.
When you break down Julia’s comic tenure — the story of a headstrong young woman and mother who operates as a superhero and eventually gains the telepathic powers and responsibility of Madame Web — it’s a whole lot easier. to imagine the potential scenario of a Madame Web movie. The movie could hypothetically work as an amalgamation of Julia’s original story and when she stepped into the role of Madame Web, with Cassandra’s legacy baked in. This would then, in a roundabout way, allow the film to establish any combination. of never-before-seen Spider-lore – including Spider-Island, The Commission, and everything Julia is related. It’s also incredibly easy to imagine Johnson becoming a bit of an indie darling with projects like Suspiria, the lost girland the next Cha Cha real smoothcorresponding to the role of Julia.
If all of that is the case, then it would make sense for Julia’s solo film to be titled Madame Web – especially given the other potential Marvel projects Sony has in the works. In particular, it was announced in 2020 that Olivia Wilde was set to write and direct a female-fronted Marvel film, with reports indicating that it would focus on Jessica Drew’s original incarnation of spider woman. This way the films could simultaneously establish Jessica and Julia without confusion, as the film version of Julia would function as Madame Web from the start.
Of course, there is always the possibility that the Madame Web The film will truly star Johnson as Cassandra Webb and attempt to tell an untold origin story for one of Spider-Man’s most visually interesting villains to date. But don’t be surprised, because future updates around the Madame Web movie come to light, if it really ends up following Julia Carpenter’s story.
Which version of Madame Web do you think will be in the Sony film? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!