The Madame Web trailer just dropped, and it looks like Sony might have another Morbius on its hands. Thanks to the unlikely success of the two Venom movies, Sony is once again trying to expand their live-action Spider-Man universe by not making a Spider-Man film, and we have just one question: who is this for?
It’s not for MCU fans, or someone from the Tom Holland Spider-Man films would be making an appearance. It’s not for comic book fans, or Madame Web herself would be an elderly blind woman and not 50 Shades of Web. This is a movie nobody asked for starring a character nobody really cares about.
At least the trailer shows an actual spider-person—unfortunately, it’s no one we care about. Clad in a suit that resembles Miles Morales’, Madame Web‘s “Spider” man is Ezekiel Sims, one of several spider-powered characters in the Marvel comics universe. Sims—much like Madame Web—is elderly in the comics and not necessarily a villain either, which again makes us wonder who this movie is supposed to be targeting.
If Sony wanted to make another movie set in the Venom universe but somewhat separate from Disney’s Marvel universe, there are so many better characters they could have picked other than Madame Web. Putting aside the obvious option of a live-action Miles Morales Spider-Man movie, there are so many other Spider-Man adjacent heroes to pick from before centering a movie around a supporting character like Madame Web.
Just a partial list would include Julia Carpenter, AKA the second Spider-Woman, Mattie Franklin, Spider-Woman 3.0, or even Aña Sofia Corazón, a character first known as Arana before settling on the code name Spider-Girl. Any one of those characters would have been a great pick to headline their own movie. The kicker is all of those characters are actually in Madame Web!
So all the execs at Sony somehow decided that calling a movie Spider-Woman or even Spider-Girl with the instant recognition that comes with the “Spider” prefix was somehow less preferable to making a movie about Madame-freaking-Web. They might as well make a Rocket Racer movie next.
Aside from being centered around a character that’s far from a household name, the movie just doesn’t look very good. Most of the comments underneath the trailer on YouTube point out that Madame Web looks like a fan film, and they’re not wrong. Not only does the movie have an amateur look to it, but the superhero costumes—what little we see of them—look like something from Spirit Halloween.
The plot of Madame Web, or as much of it as we could figure out from a three-minute trailer, revolves around Cassandra Webb (Dakota Johnson), an EMT who suddenly starts getting Final Destination-like glimpses of the future.
Cassandra somehow ends up den mother to a trio of future Spider-people: Julia Carpenter (Sydney Sweeney), Mattie Franklin (Celeste O’Connor), and Anya Corazon (Isabela Merced). This superhero, equivalent to Charlie’s Angels, is being stalked by bad Spider-Guy Ezekiel Sims, who appears to be trying to kill them before they can get their respective spider-powers.
We don’t know how long it will take Sony to figure out that the Venom franchise is a fluke and only works because of the hilarious gay-coded relationship between Tom Hardy’s Eddie Brock and the Venom symbiote, but until they do, expect more movies like Madame Web that are made to appeal to a demographic that doesn’t exist.
Or rather, if there is a huge fan outcry for live-action films starring B and C-tier Spider-Man characters but without the Webslinger himself, we sure haven’t seen it.
Madame Web is scheduled to be released on February 14, 2024.