Which Version of Madame Web Will Dakota Johnson be Playing?

Following the success of Spider-Man: No Way Home, Sony Pictures is looking to put some pep in its eight-legged step with an all-new Spider-Hero from its roster of Marvel Comics, Madame Web. According to a recent rumor, Dakota Johnson is in talks to join the Sony Universe and star in the studio’s Madame Web movie, which will be directed by SJ Clarkson (Jessica Jones, Succession) from a screenplay penned by the Morbius team Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless, based on a previous draft by Kerem Sanga (Dinner in America).

Right now, plot details are more difficult to find than a single spider egg, and it’s unclear which version of Madame Web Johnson will be portraying. Read on for why Spidey should not be the only web-head in town.

MOVIEWEB VIDEO OF THE DAY

“Hey, Spidey! Think You’re the Only Web-Head in Town?”


Suspiria
Amazon Studios

Insiders say the character is supposed to be Sony’s version of Doctor Strange. Some have assumed that Johnson will portray the sometimes elderly Cassandra Webb, who has an autoimmune disease known as myasthenia gravis, keeping her confined to a life-support system resembling a spider web. However, Madame Web also has a much younger version; a second-generation Spider-Woman named Julia Carpenter gains precognition powers after Cassandra is killed. Although Madame Web is a quasi-regular supporting character in Spider-Man stories, her biggest claim to fame is her recurring role in the ’90s Spider-Man animated series, voiced by Joan Lee, Stan Lee’s wife.

So which Madame Web will Dakota Johnson be playing in the upcoming film? While no one at MovieWeb is precognitive like the character, some pretty compelling clues help Marvel fans figure it out. Given the recent opening in the multiverse and the characters ‘Marvel Comics’ origins stories, it would not be surprising to learn both Madame Webs may come into play if the feature film comes to fruition.

Cassandra Webb Is Old and “Dead”


The Amazing Spider-Man # 210
Marvel Comics

Madame Web is known as the “Creepy Clairvoyant.” Cassandra Webb, aka the first Madame Web, made her debut in The Amazing Spider-Man # 210 by Denny O’Neil, John Romita Jr., Joe Sinnott, Bob Sharen, and Jim Novak from 1980. In the comes, Cassandra is blind and has myasthenia gravis, a chronic autoimmune disorder in which communication between the nerves and muscle cells breakdown, resulting in muscle weakness, paralysis, and neurological deterioration.

Related: The Marvels Star Brie Larson Teases a ‘Bonkers’ Captain Marvel SequelThus, her late husband built a web-like life support system that keeps her blood flowing, lungs breathing, and electricity coursing through her brain. However, she has said that her eyes “can see beyond normal sight.” She has compensated for any perceived cognitive deficits by developing profound psychic abilities and establishing herself as a medium. In the comics, while Peter Parker receives a lot of help from Madame Web over the years, she has never fought any villains on her own.

Young Cassandra Is Not Immortal (Or Is She?)


Amazing Spider-Man # 237
Marvel Comics

Cassandra receives immortality for some time in the comics and is a much younger and healthier version of herself. However, it does not last forever. And no matter how unlikely it is that Sony would pull from this small part of the story, although it is Norman Osborn-centric, it is possible that Johnson could play Cassandra during this small moment in her life. If Marvel Studios is genuinely bringing the mutants back, what does that mean for the Resurrection Protocols and the MCU?

In recent years, the OG Madame Web was killed off. Well, kind of. First, Madame Web is a mutant, meaning Marvel can choose to bring Cassandra back at any time because of developments in the Powers of X storyline. Now, Marvel’s mutants have the Resurrection Protocols, which governs the resurrection of mutants who meet a premature end. Second, when Cassandra is killed off, her powers are transferred to Julia Carpenter. However, Julia is changed by saving the clairvoyant’s life, and a bit of Cassandra moves to her as well.

Related: Moon Knight Poster Teases the Marvel Hero’s Dual IdentityJohnson is an actress and model best known for her work in the Fifty Shades film series but recently appeared in a role that prepped her for some Madame Web action and stunt work, Suspiria, but the actress is currently 32-years-old, not elderly. Johnson probably will not be playing the elderly Cassandra in Sony’s Madame Web movie. However, the body of Julia Carpenter that Cassandra transfers her powers to is far more age-appropriate to be played by Johnson.

Julia Carpenter, Spider-Woman 2


Amazing Spider-Man # 237
Marvel Comics

“The first rule of Spider-Island is you do not talk about Spider-Island,” but life thrives on imperfection. Julia Carpenter was briefly introduced in 1984’s Secret Wars # 6 by Michael Zeck, John Beatty, Christie Scheele, and Joe Rose as the second Spider-Woman and the second Arachne. Carpenter does not become Madame Web until 2010’s Amazing Spider-Man # 237 by writer Joe Kelly and artists Michael Lark, Stefano Gaudiano, Marco Checchetto, Richard Matthew Southworth, with colors by Matt Hollingsworth, art assist by Brian Thies, and letters by Joe Caramagna.

In the comics, she is a cash-strapped single mother drawn to a covert double life by a college roommate who recruits her as a test subject for an experiment run by a secret government organization attempting to recreate Spider-Man’s powers. She undergoes a series of treatments, including injections of a formula mixing extract from Amazon jungle plants and spider venom.

Some of Julia’s powers are mind-based, like the older Madame Web, like her ability to create webbing out of psychokinetic energy, and are way closer to Spidey’s powers than whatever Jessica Drew has going on. Speaking of Jessica Drew, it’s a little weird to think about the second Spider-Woman coming to screen when the first Spider-Woman, Jessica Drew, still hasn’t had the chance to make her big-screen debut. However, the red and yellow-clad arachnid will have her onscreen debut Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse (Part One), played by Issa Rae, soon enough. However, Jessica’s Spider-Woman has little connection to Spider-Man outside her name. She is honestly more closely associated with the Scarlet Witch. After all, she was also raised on Wundagore Mountain by Bova.


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