Dakota Johnson Confirms Madame Web Role in Sony's Spider-Man Spinoff

By Cameron Bonomolo
Dakota Johnson confirms she’s the latest lead actor to be caught in the web of Sony’s Spider-Man Universe. Reacting to recent reports Sony Pictures has cast the Fifty Shades of Grey star as the clairvoyant Madame Web, the first female lead of the spin-off universe home to Tom Hardy’s Venom and Jared Leto’s Morbius, Johnson responded on Instagram with a single emoji: a spider’s web. In the Marvel comics, the elderly Cassandra Webb is the blind psychic Madame Web; a younger character, former Spider-Woman Julia Carpenter, has since adopted the identity of the sightless superhero capable of seeing the future. 
See Johnson’s Instagram Stories post below.
OMG! Dakota just confirmed she is playing Madame Web 🕸 #DakotaJohnson

📸 dakotajohnson IG Stories pic.twitter.com/UTh7rmymfJ
Venom and Spider-Man: No Way Home producers Sony reportedly met with “a number of A-listers” for the first female starring superhero of the SSU, according to Deadline, the first to report Johnson was in talks to star in Madame Web. Sony’s shortlist was cut down just before the holidays when Johnson emerged as the frontrunner, according to the report. 
The Defenders and Jessica Jones director S.J. Clarkson, who was previously tapped by Paramount to helm Star Trek 4, directs from a script by writing duo Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless (Sony’s Morbius, 2017’s Power Rangers, Gods of Egypt). 
Sony is also developing Kraven the Hunter with Aaron Taylor-Johnson in the titular role and an Olivia Wilde-directed female-led solo film suspected to be Spider-Woman. The Spidey spinoffs are set in Sony’s Spider-Man Universe, previously known as the Sony Pictures Universe of Marvel Characters, joining Venom (2018), Venom: Let There Be Carnage (2021), and Morbius (2022). 
Before crossing over Sony’s Spider-Man Universe and Disney’s Marvel Cinematic Universe in Spider-Man: No Way Home, Spider-Man franchise producer Amy Pascal said the studio was focusing on ensuring its spinoffs could stand-alone separate of a shared cinematic universe. 
“The most important thing is that each of these movies can stand on their own,” Pascal said in a 2019 Screen Rant interview when asked if Sony’s Morbius and Kraven the Hunter would exist in the same continuity as Tom Holland’s Spider-Man. “So I think the first thing for us to think about is: Venom has to stand on its own, [Spider-Man] has to stand on its own, Spider-Verse has to stand on its own. They all have to be great movies themselves. And then the possibilities are endless.”
Sony Pictures has not set a release date for Madame Web
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