Madame Web is scheduled to hit theaters in the United States on February 14, 2024. Originally planned for a release date of July 7, 2023, the film faced delays, first to October 6, 2023, and then to February 16, 2024. Ultimately, the release date was adjusted to February 14, 2024, taking advantage of the Valentine’s Day weekend. Here’s everything we know about Madame Web.
Being the inaugural female character to headline a solo film in Sony’s Spider-Man Universe, Madame Web brings forth a captivating narrative with unique elements ideal for cinematic exploration. Distinguished by her clairvoyance and extrasensory perception (ESP), she stands apart from the conventional physically enhanced heroes we commonly encounter, adding an extra layer of fascination to her storyline.
Despite the release of the initial trailer on November 15, 2023, there is still limited information unveiling the specifics. Her psychic capabilities, providing insight into the spider world, promise an intriguing journey. The teaser hinted at a narrative rich with masked characters and individuals possessing psychic abilities.
Dakota Johnson is set to portray Cassandra Webb, also known as Madame Webb, in the upcoming film. Despite her actual age, Johnson’s portrayal suggests a rendition of the character before the well-known elderly and blind version familiar to many Spider-Man enthusiasts from comics and cartoons.
In contrast to the traditional depiction where Madame Webb is connected to a spider-web-shaped life-support system and collaborates telepathically with Spider-Man to assist those in need, the trailer hints at a different narrative. It reveals an able-bodied Cassandra in the early 2000s New York City, just beginning to harness her psychic abilities. The setting is characterized by billboards featuring Beyoncé’s debut album and advertisements highlighting the new 3G speed, offering a distinctive backdrop for the character’s development.
Due to these developments, fans have speculated that Cassandra Webb, portrayed by Dakota Johnson, may join forces with three other female Spider-powered heroes to safeguard them and, potentially, a yet-to-be-born Peter Parker. The common adversary in this scenario is Ezekiel Sims, who is actively attempting to alter the future. Possessing a similar ability to foresee future events, Ezekiel is depicted facing attacks from Julia Carpenter, Anya Corazon, and Mattie Franklin, all donned in their Spider-Woman/Girl costumes. Ezekiel, clad in a black and red Spider-Man suit, appears to be pursuing the young heroines.
Producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura, told ComicBook.com the movie would lean into the character’s mysterious past in the comics to give her a new origin story, saying, “And so you meet her before she’s actually the person that you know in the comic book and you come to understand how she becomes that person. So, I think that’ll be a really fresh new terrain for the fans.”
Madame Web: The Cast
Setting aside the plot details, the cast lineup of Madame Web has ignited a flurry of excitement across the internet. Initially, there was speculation surrounding Dakota Johnson, the chosen actress for the lead role, suggesting a resemblance to Julia Carpenter. This was supported by circulating images ahead of the trailer, where she was attired in the character’s iconic red coat. However, the trailer has since clarified that Julia Carpenter (Sydney Sweeney) is a fitting choice given her strawberry blonde hair on set. In the trailer, Dakota Johnson’s character is referred to as “Cassie” by others, establishing her as Cassandra Webb.
Teaming up with Johnson and Sweeney in this impressive ensemble are Celeste O’Connor from Ghostbusters: Afterlife and Isabela Merced from Rosaline. O’Connor is rumored to embody Mattie Franklin, the eventual Spider-Woman, while Merced is speculated to portray Anya Corazon, the future Spider-Girl. Emma Roberts, who has disclosed that her character won’t possess supernatural abilities, is speculated to take on the role of Mary Parker, Peter Parker’s mother, though no official confirmation has been made. Joining the Parker family lineup is Adam Scott, rumored to play Ben Parker, Peter’s uncle. Tahar Rahim is set to portray Ezekiel Sims, while Mike Epps and Zosia Mamet have been cast in roles that remain undisclosed, fueling further speculation among fans.
Everything Else We Know
Sony has enlisted a seasoned team of filmmakers for its inaugural female-led cinematic venture. S. J. Clarkson, known for her successful direction of episodes in Marvel’s TV series, including The Defenders and Jessica Jones, has been chosen to helm Madame Web as the director. The screenplay for the film is in the capable hands of the writing duo Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless, who previously collaborated on another Sony’s Spider-Man Universe (SSU) project, Morbius.
Madame Web made her first appearance in The Amazing Spider-Man #210, created by writer Denny O’Neil and artist John Romita Jr. The decision to bring this character to the forefront in a movie may come as a surprise to many longtime Marvel Comics and Spider-Man fans. The inclusion of three Spider-Women in the narrative suggests a reinterpretation of an idea that was initially conceived around 2012/2013 by former Sony Pictures President Amy Pascal during the development of The Amazing Spider-Man 2. At that time, it was envisioned as a spin-off, a female-centered superhero movie within the Spider-Man universe.
Madame Web has been likened to the Doctor Strange of Sony’s Spider-Man universe, suggesting a significant role in connecting various cinematic incarnations of Spider-Man. With the character’s ties to the multiverse, there’s speculation that the film could serve as the linchpin between different Spider-Man versions, including those portrayed by Tobey Maguire, Andrew Garfield, Tom Holland, as well as the Sony villain-focused films and the animated Spider-Verse films.
While only time will reveal the true narrative direction, Madame Web holds the distinction of being the first superhero movie slated for release in 2024. Following a challenging year in 2023 with notable disappointments like The Marvels, Aquaman and the Lost Kingdom, and The Flash, Madame Web now carries the weight of high expectations.