The Marvel Cinematic Universe is about to nab another one. Variety reports that Dakota Johnson is in talks to star as Madame Web in Sony’s next MCU-adjacent Spiderverse project, meaning she will join the ranks of Tom Hardy and Jared Leto, who both star (or are set to star) in Sony’s other Spider-Man-related projects, Venom and Morbius, respectively. According to Variety, Madame Web “is key in the interconnected multiverse,” but honestly, who even knows that that means. The MCU has been hinting at the multiverse for awhile now, most recently in Spider-Man: No Way Home, so it could be Johnson who’s tasked with the job of making it all make sense.
Madame Web was first introduced in The Amazing Spiderman comic book in 1980 as an elderly clairvoyant mutant who uses her abilities to help out Spider-Man and his friends. She is often depicted as blind and paralyzed, suffering with myasthenia gravis, an autoimmune disorder. Luckily, before her husband died, he designed a chair for that resembles a web and keeps her on life support. Considering the description of the character, it’s unclear why Johnson would be their first choice, unless they’re planning on aging down Ms. Web for the purposes of the movie, which does sound like a very Hollywood thing to do..
The Madame Web project would be Sony’s first modern comic book adaption led by a woman. This comes off a big year for the company, after the success of Venom: Let There Be Carnage and Spider-Man: No Way Home, which was the biggest film of 2021 with $1.7 billion in worldwide sales, according to Deadline.
If the role does go to Johnson, it will mark her return to the world of popular film series following her run as Anastasia Steele in the Fifty Shades saga. Since then, Johnson has gravitated toward less obviously popular movies, which has seemingly been a smart move. Her role in The Lost Daughter has been highly praised, as has her upcoming film, Cha Cha Real Smooth, which was just bought by Apple after premiering at Sundance Film Festival last month. Now, though, it’s possible Johnson is ready to make the MCU big bucks, and we can’t blame her for that.