‘Madame Web’ Release Date, Cast, Plot, and More
The Sony Spider-Man Universe (SSU) is set to expand quite a bit between 2023 and 2024. The franchise has been slow to grow since it first started in 2018. It only consists of three films so far: Venom, Venom: Let There Be Carnage, and Morbius. However, the SSU will soon be doubling its titles with the releases of Kraven the Hunter, El Muerto, and Madame Web. While all of these upcoming films are exciting, Madame Web will be especially interesting, as the titular character is one of the most unique Spider-Man-related characters.
Most characters in the Spider-Man family acquired their powers from radioactive spiders or spider DNA. Cassandra Webb (a.k.a. Madame Web) is unique in that her powers come from her mutant genes. In addition to being a mutant, she is one of Marvel’s few blind superheroes. She’s also one of the only ones who suffer from myasthenia gravis. Myasthenia gravis is an autoimmune neuromuscular disease that weakens the body’s muscles. As a result of the disease, Webb is paralyzed and relies on a life support system that her husband, Jonathan Webb, built for her. Interestingly, the tubes connecting her to the life support system resemble a web.
However, Webb doesn’t let blindness or myasthenia gravis prevent her from being a heroine. She is a clairvoyant, and her mutant powers give her the ability to see the future. As a result, Spider-Man once sought out her powers for help finding a missing person. The mission led to them becoming close friends and Webb taking on a mentorship role in Spider-Man’s life. She would also mentor the third Spider-Woman, Mattie Franklin. She is also the grandmother of the fourth Spider-Woman, Charlotte Witter. Webb is deeply embedded in the Spider-Man family and is one of the characters most deserving of film in the SSU. Here’s what we know about Madame Web so far.
Madame Web release date
Madame Web is scheduled to release theatrically on February 16, 2024. This was the date settled on after the film suffered two delays. Initially, it was supposed to be released on July 7, 2023. It was first delayed to October 6, 2023, and then moved to the 2024 slot. Following Sony’s major deal with the Canadian streaming service, Crave, Madame Web is anticipated to land on the platform for streaming after an initial theatrical run.
Madame Web cast
Leading Madame Web’s cast are Dakota Johnson and Sydney Sweeney. Johnson, best known for her roles in the Fifty Shades of Grey film series and in Persuasion, will take on the lead role of Cassandra (a.k.a. Madame Web). Her casting was an interesting choice, as Madame Web is frequently depicted as an elderly woman. However, some iterations of the comics see her restored to a younger age and cured of myasthenia gravis. So it seems the film will be depicting that version. Still, while not always elderly or suffering from myasthenia gravis, her character has always been canonically blind. Hence, some viewers felt that a blind actress should’ve been chosen instead of Johnson, as well as someone closer to the original character’s age.
Meanwhile, Euphoria‘s Sweeney has been cast as Julia Carpenter. In the comics, Carpenter was an iteration of Spider-Woman. She later became the second Madame Web after Cassandra passed her powers on to her. In addition to Sweeney and Johnson, Madame Web has also tapped Parks & Recreation’s Adam Scott and Holidate‘s Emma Roberts for the roles of Mary and Ben Parker. For those who are unfamiliar with the Parker family, Mary Parker is Peter Parker’s mother and a CIA agent. Ben Parker is Mary’s brother-in-law and the uncle who raised Peter. Roberts and Scott are likely playing young versions of the characters, before Peter’s time.
Dora and the Lost City of Gold‘s Isabela Merced will portray another exciting Spider-Man character, Anya Corazon. In the comics, Corazon is a young teenage gymnast who later gains Spider-like powers and takes on the alias Spider-Girl. The last confirmed character appearing in the film is the Mattie Franklin iteration of Spider-Woman, who will be portrayed by Ghostbusters: Afterlife star Celeste O’Connor. Rounding out the cast are Tahar Rahim, Mike Epps, Zosia Mamet, and Josh Drennem, whose roles have not yet been disclosed.
Madame Web plot
Following the pattern of Venom and Morbius, Madame Web is believed to be an origin story for its titular character. Deadline described the film as “an origin story of the clairvoyant, whose psychic abilities allow her to see within the spider world.” Based on what we know so far, it seems the film will take quite a few creative liberties with Johnson’s iteration of Cassandra. Johnson’s casting and set photos seem to confirm that Cassandra will not be blind, paralyzed, or suffering from myasthenia gravis. Additionally, her mutant heritage will likely be wiped away, as the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) now owns the rights to mutants. This is why Deadline’s description classifies Madame Web as merely a “clairvoyant.”
The numerous changes to Madame Web are a bit concerning. But including Carpenter and Franklin in the film still has potential. Madame Web could take on the mentorship role with Spider-Woman and Spider-Girl, which she was known for in the comics. The film may even see her preparing Carpenter to take over the role of Madame Web one day. The cast/characters that have the most potential, though, are Mary and Ben Parker. Mary Parker has always been a bit of a mysterious character, given her tragic and sudden death in the comics. As a result, seeing a younger version of her during her CIA days will be very exciting.
With Scott’s impressive acting resume, his role as a young Uncle Ben is also highly anticipated. He is another character whose story is often cut short in his appearances. The film could very useful in exploring who the young Ben was. The only question is if Richard Parker (Peter’s father) will be in Madame Web. His absence might be confusing, considering his wife (or future wife) is in the film, along with his brother. Hence, Madame Web‘s plot has a lot of potential to dive deeper into the Spider-Man and Parker families than ever before. It just might not be a very comic book-accurate origin story for its titular hero.
(Featured image: Marvel Comics)
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