Dakota Johnson Set To Play Iconic Character In Solo Spider-Man Spinoff

By Erika Hanson | 4 months ago

dakota johnson

While the world is still reeling from the epicness engulfing the third installment of Marvel’s popular Spider-Man trilogy, the other megacorp that also has their hands in the Spidey-pot just released breaking news about an upcoming project in the lucrative Spider-Man franchise. According to Deadline, Dakota Johnson has been in talks with Sony to star in the studio’s upcoming  Madame Web movie as part of Sony’s growing lineup of projects based on the characters found in Marvel’s Spider-Man lore. 

With details surrounding the future project just coming to light, sources told Deadline that they are eyeing Dakota Johnson to play the title character in Madame Web. S.J Clarkson is set to direct the film. Clarkson boasts an impressive resume that’s no stranger to Marvel lore. Previously, she acted as the lead director and executive producer on Marvel’s The Defenders for Netflix. Similarly, she led production and directing on Netflix’s Jessica Jones. The screenplay for the film is already set with Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless, the two men behind the writing for Sony’s soon-to-be-released film in the Spider-Man universe, Morbius, onboard as screenwriters.

At the center of the new project will be Dakota Johnson acting as Sony’s first female superhero. Many comic book fans will surely be scratching their heads at news that the 32-year-old actress is being tapped to take on Madame Web- a character many fans of the comic know as an elderly woman. However, a look into the long-spanning history of Peter Parker in Marvel comics will hopefully shed some light on the casting of Johnson.

madame web
The original Madame Web, Amazing Spider-Man #210, Marvel Comics 1980

Making her grand entrance in Marvel’s The Amazing Spider-Man series in the ’80s, Madame Web was portrayed as an elderly woman with a debilitating disorder known as myasthenia gravis. Appearing in the comics strapped to a life support system that resembles a spider web, her powers have nothing to do with her appearance. As a mutant, Web is clairvoyant and precognitive. However, as the story of the mutant unfolds, Madame Web passes her powers before death to the young Julia Carpenter — likely the Madame Web that Dakota Johnson will be portraying. Recently, everyone’s favorite friendly neighborhood Spider-Man, Tom Holland himself, discussed which Spider-Man characters he would love to face on the big screen, and Madame Web was Holland’s personal pick.

madame web
The current Madame Web, Amazing Spider-Man #15, Marvel Comics 2015

If confirmed, Madame Web will mark the biggest studio feature in years for Dakota Johnson.  Growing up in show biz, Dakota is the daughter of Hollywood vets Don Johnson and Melanie Griffith. At the age of ten, she made her film debut with a minor role in the dark comedy Crazy in Alabama alongside her mother. After graduating high school, she focused on her acting career, landing cameos in films like 2010s The Social Network. However, her most renowned work came in 2015 as she was cast to play Anastasia Steele in the highly anticipated erotic trilogy Fifty Shades. Her performance in the trilogy earned Dakota a BAFTA Rising Star Award nomination in 2016.

The news regarding Madame Web and Dakota Johnson is just one of a number of slated projects in development from Sony as they hang onto film rights to Spider-Man and the franchise-related characters. The long-awaited Morbius starring Jaret Leto will finally debut in theaters this April. Similarly, Sony has plans to release Kraven the Hunter starring Aaron Taylor-Johnson. As for unconfirmed projects, the online rumor mill has also pointed at the possibilities of an Olivia Wilde-directed movie potentially highlighting Spider-Women, as well as Venom 3