The Sony Marvel Universe of Spider-Man Characters is growing. Dakota Johnson is set to star as the first woman to headline a Sony/Marvel superhero movie in Madame Web, according to a new report. The film rights to Spider-Man, which have been held by the production company for decades, were established in 1963. Since the debut of The Amazing Spider-Man, the studio has been working to create a universe around Spidey’s supporting cast. With two successful Venom films on the way, and Morbius just around the corner, it appears to be a reality. Other characters are working on scripts, including one with the hero Jackpot and written by Arrow’s Marc Guggenheim.
It makes sense that Sony would be prioritizing characters who can be connected to Spider-Man, as the studio’s newest offering, Spider-Man: No Way Home, is quickly becoming the studio’s most successful film in history and one of the top-grossing films ever produced. Last month, it was reported that Madame Web would begin production in 2022, with a location already selected but no specific dates set. With a star like Johnson on board, it’s likely that fans will have an idea for a production schedule soon, as they’ll need to pick a date that works with her other commitments.
The Cassandra Webb of the Marvel Comics source material is a mutant born in Salem, Oregon, as originally stated by ComicBook’s Kofi Outlaw when the film was first announced. She’s got a neurological condition that paralyses and blinds her, but she has telepathy, clairvoyance, and precognition, allowing her insight into events that are well beyond the scope of her physical body. Her name comes from her life-support machine, which resembles a large spider’s web.
Webb is also acquainted with the Spider-Man world through her connections to Charlotte Witter, who became Spider-Woman’s evil doppelganger; she’s also connected to Julia Carpenter, the second version of Spider-Woman that appeared on The Avengers. And so it was that, when Cassandra was fatally injured, she passed on all of her psychic abilities to Julia, making the younger woman into the next Madame Web.
There are still a few unresolved questions involving how these films will connect to the Marvel Cinematic Universe and whether or not those taking place outside of it have their own shared continuity and possibilities for crossover.
Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless, the writing team behind Morbius and Lost in Space, wrote the screenplay for Madame Web. She’ll be directed by SJ Clarkson (Jessica Jones), who also helmed Netflix’s The Defenders.
Sandra Bullock was once rumored to be in the running for the part.
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