See Dakota Johnson In Costume As Fan-Favorite Marvel Superhero

it's comic book correct!

By Michileen Martin | Published

dakota johnson

As someone known best for the Fifty Shades, Dakota Johnson is probably not the first person fans think of when the phrase “Marvel superhero” crops up, but she’s currently busy filming one of the next Marvel blockbusters — albeit, outside the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Back in February it was announced Johnson would be leading the upcoming Spider-Man spin-off Madame Web as the eponymous hero. Now we have a video of the actress from the set of the film in a comic book accurate costume.

The video comes courtesy of the Twitter fan account Dakota Johnson Updates, apparently from the Instagram stories of someone the account refers to as “livdono.” The video shows Johnson leaning against the front of a building and under its awning as crew members mill about. Considering her attitude in the video, it seems clear it was recorded during a break in filming. What’s most interesting is her reddish-brown leather jacket which is pretty close to that of Julia Carpenter, the second Marvel character to take up the name Madame Web. You can see the video below, followed by an image of Julia Carpenter from the comics.

madame web
Julia Carpenter in Prowler #2 (Marvel Comics 2017)

As Murphy’s Multiverse and others note, the jacket Dakota Johnson is wearing in the video seems to confirm what most fans seemed to already suspect: that Johnson will not be playing the original version of the character in Madame Web, but her replacement Julia Carpenter. The first Marvel character to carry the name is introduced in 1980’s Amazing Spider-Man #210. Cassandra Webb is a blind and elderly woman with various psychic powers including precognition. She is almost always depicted seated in front of a large web-like structure. Moments before her death, Webb passes her powers to Julia Carpenter, which renders Carpenter physically blind.

It will be interesting to see exactly how the filmmakers behind Madame Web explain her abilities in the upcoming Dakota Johnson starrer, not to mention what those abilities will be. Like the comic book counterpart to Tom Hardy’s Venom, Dakota Johnson’s character’s source material origins go back to the eighties limited series Secret Wars and are a bit too complex to reproduce precisely on the screen. Decades (in real world time) before she gained Madame Web’s powers, the Julia Carpenter of the comics was known as the new Spider-Woman. Government experiments she was tricked into participating in gave her abilities much like Spider-Man’s, with a few added benefits like psychically produced webbing. So, unlike the first Madame Web, Carpenter is not only good at seeing the future, but she can kick some serious butt, too.

It will be interesting to see how one controversy about Madame Web pans out. Shortly after the casting of Dakota Johnson was announced, accusations of ableism were leveled at the production. Some critics argued a blind actress should’ve been chosen because the character is blind. But at the same time fans were more than happy to embrace the casting of Charlie Cox as Daredevil, and have been equally thrilled to welcome his return to the role. How can you trash one casting decision and not the other?