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Dakota Johnson is in talks to play the title character in Madame Web, the Sony spinoff centered on the Spider-Man character. S.J. Clarkson is set to direct the feature, which is part of Sony’s growing stable of films based on Marvel characters.
Introduced in 1980’s The Amazing Spider-Man No. 210, Madame Web is a clairvoyant mutant who specializes in predicting the future of Spider-themed superheroes, having mentored not only Peter Parker’s alter ego, but also multiple generations of heroes calling themselves Spider-Woman. Traditionally depicted as a blind, paralyzed old woman, she is surrounded by a web-like machine necessary to keep her alive, meaning that she stays away from direct conflict, and rather sends others on missions.
Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless, who are behind fellow Spider-Man spinoff Morbius, penned the script.
Madame Web marks the biggest studio feature in years for Johnson, who broke out in the Fifty Shades of Grey franchise and has since focused on smaller and independent fare. Recently, Johnson was at the Sundance Film Festival with two features — Am I OK? and Cha Cha Real Smooth — both of which she also produced under her TeaTime banner.
Madame Web is one of a number of projects in development as the studio builds out its Sony Universe of Marvel Characters. Sony, which controls the film rights to Spider-Man and other related characters, has already released Venom (2018) and Venom: Let There Be Carnage (2020) and has the Jared Leto starrer Morbius due out in April. Sony also has Kraven the Hunter in the works with star Aaron Taylor-Johnson.
The studio is riding high following the release of Spider-Man: No Way Home, which has grossed $1.74 billion globally, the highest in Sony history.
Johnson, who is repped by WME, Untitled Entertainment and Johnson Shapiro, can currently be seen in Netflix awards contender The Lost Daughter. Clarkson has directed on TV series including HBO’s Succession and the Netflix/Marvel series Jessica Jones. She is currently helming Anatomy of a Scandal, a six-episode Netflix adaptation of the novel of the same name. Clarkson is repped by WME.
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