A few years ago, we learned that Sony is developing a Madame Web movie as part of their Spider-Man Universe franchise. We haven't heard any development ever since the project was announced until a few weeks ago when it was reported that filming might start within this year. Now, it looks like they are getting closer to production as they have finally cast an actress to play the titular role.
Deadline has reported that Fifty Shades of Grey and The Lost Daughter star Dakota Johnson is in talks to play the titular hero in Sony's Madame Web movie. S.J. Clarkson is attached to direct the film. Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless are writing the screenplay. With this casting, Johnson will be the first actress to play a female superhero in Sony's Spider-Man Universe.
While Madame Web is traditionally portrayed as an elderly woman with myasthenia gravis and connected to a life support system that looked like a spider web, the report indicated that the project could turn into something else according to their sources.
The report also said that getting a female-driven property in the franchise has always been a top priority for Sony. They also took time on figuring out who will play the titular role as they met with several A-list talents. In the last two months, Johnson emerged as the frontrunner for the role.
Johnson's casting might be surprising for some given that she is a young actress and Madame Web is traditionally an elderly character so, when the project was announced, a lot of fans were expecting that they will cast an actress around that age to play the role. It looks like Sony is going to do a very different take on the character since they hired Johnson on the role and she could be a more active superhero than in the comics where we don't see her fight a lot due to her condition.
While Johnson might be known for her starring role in the Fifty Shades franchise, she has proven in the past few years that she is a very talented actress thanks to her impressive performances in films such as The Lost Daughter, The High Note, Suspiria, Bad Times at the El Royale, and The Peanut Butter Falcon. Playing the role of Madame Web will certainly take her career to the next level as she is now going to be a superhero in one of the biggest movie franchises today.
There is no release date set for Madame Web, but production will reportedly begin later this year.