Sony has found its Madame Web in Dakota Johnson, but which version of the character will she play? That should have you on the trail of these key issues.
The big news this week has been Madame Web. When news first began circulating that Sony was developing a feature film around the elderly, disabled center of the Spider-Verse, it left more questions than answers. Considering Sony’s track record of starts and stops with Spider-Verse spinoffs, many fans wondered if it would even see the light of day. Then came this week’s announcement that Fifty Shades of Gray star Dakota Johnson has been cast as Madame Web.
Fans have been divided on Johnson’s casting, with many crying foul for Sony not casting someone disabled in the role. However, the studio may have another plan, and Johnson could be playing another version of Madame Web with the original as her teacher.
On that note, let’s take a look at the top contenders.
FIRST APPEARANCE: AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #210
When the word first spread that Madame Web would be starring in her own live-action movie, most fans scoffed. In the comics, she is portrayed as a blind, elderly woman who serves as an interdimensional sage, keeping the order in the Spider-Verse.
Clearly, Sony isn’t going with an older woman as its featured Madame Web. Still, that doesn’t mean we won’t see Cassandra Webb.
My guess is that Sony will take a cue from Ant-Man and have Cassandra as a mentor to a younger version of the character, such as…
FIRST APPEARANCE: (CAMEO) SECRET WARS #6, (FULL) SECRET WARS #7
Julia Carpenter is more famous as the second Spider-Woman (and the first to sport the ultra-cool, symbiote-inspired black suit with the white emblem), but she also served as the Marvel-616’s second Madame Web.
Since Jessica Drew’s Spider-Woman will be part of Across the Spider-Verse, then it leaves Julia Carpenter open for other franchises.
If Sony doesn’t have plans to include her in a future Spider-Woman movie or Across the Spider-Verse, then it stands to reason that she could be the live-action Madame Web.
FIRST APPEARANCE: AMAZING SPIDER-MAN #5 (1999)
Here is a sleeper pick that could result in serious profits. While most collectors are eying the first appearances of Cassandra Webb and Julia Carpenter, 1999’s ASM #5 could be the comic to have. This issue featured the debut of Cassandra’s granddaughter, Charlotte Witter. She did not take up the Madame Web title in the comics, but instead became the fourth Spider-Woman.
With Charlotte being Cassandra’s granddaughter, this could be the trick up Sony’s sleeve with the Dakota Johnson casting. Instead of Cassandra mentoring Julia, she would be paired with Charlotte, who takes over the Madame Web mantle.
WEB OF MYSTERY
Which character will be the live-action Madame Web? I’m leaning toward Charlotte because establishing the relationship between teacher and student will be easier that way, but who knows? Sony could simply go with a younger Cassandra Webb who may or may not be blind. The fallout from not casting a disabled person in the role makes me think Sony will have an older, blind Cassandra in some capacity.