Dakota Johnson is reportedly in talks to star in Sony’s upcoming Marvel superhero film featuring Madame Web.
As reported by Deadline, sources said that Sony is looking to expand the universe of its Marvel characters following the success of Tom Holland’s Spider-Man: No Way Home.
S.J. Clarkson, whose previous credits include Marvel’s The Defenders and Jessica Jones, is reportedly attached to shepherd the superhero film with screenplay coming from Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless.
Johnson, best known for portraying the role of Anastasia Steele in the film adaptation of E. L. James’ romance trilogy, is currently in negotiations to star in the upcoming film.
First appeared in Marvel Comics’ The Amazing Spider-Man #210 in 1980, Madame Web, also known as Cassandra Webb, is an elderly woman with myasthenia gravis.
Although she is connected to a life support system that looks like a spider web, the heroine, created by writer Denny O'Neil and artist John Romita Jr., is a telepathic, clairvoyant and precognitive mutant.
In the comics, Madame Web died after Sasha Kravinoff slit her throat. However, moments before the died, she revealed that she is no longer blind and passed on her psychic powers to Julia Carpenter, the second Spider-Woman.
Deadline noted that due to her age and medical condition, Madame Web never actively fought any villains. With that, Deadline’s sources claimed that it’s likely that the project could “turn into something else.”
“Insiders say due to her psychic sensory powers, she is essentially Sony’s version of Doctor Strange,” it said.
According to Deadline, it’s been a priority for Sony to get a female-driven property in its Marvel characters “given the long list of strong female characters that appear in these comics throughout the years.”
It added that executives from the company for the past two months have met with A-listers to find the right actress to play the role, with Johnson ultimately “gaining front-runner status right before the holiday.”
The news of a brand new movie featuring one of Sony's Marvel characters came on the heels of the worldwide success of No Way Home and Tom Hardy’s Venom: Let There Be Carnage.
Additionally, further expanding Sony's Spiderverse this year is Jared Leto’s antihero film Morbius while Aaron Taylor-Johnson's standalone movie Kraven the Hunter is due to come out sometime in 2023.
As for No Way Home, a separate report from Deadline said that the Sony tentpole is swinging into a streaming service this year—and no, not on Netflix or Disney Plus.
In an interview, Starz CEO Jeffrey Hirsch while discussing the “role of movies versus series,” confirmed that the superhero film is coming to Starz “sometime over the next six months.”
“Ours is a retention game, not an acquisition game,” he said. “Lining up content week to week, 52 weeks a year. Seeking to move our core audience from one show to the next.”
Holland’s third film as Spider-Man is described as a “tremendous boost” on the streaming platform provided that “you put the right shows and content around it so you can move customers that watch Spider-Man into one of your originals.”