Dakota Johnson has confirmed that she is the newest leading lady entangled in Sony’s Spider-Man Universe. Johnson answered on Instagram with a single emoji: a spider’s web, in response to recent rumors that the Fifty Shades of Grey actor has been cast as the clairvoyant Madame Web, the first female lead of the spinoff universe home to Tom Hardy’s Venom and Jared Leto’s Morbius. In the Marvel comics, the blind psychic Madame Web is played by the elderly Cassandra Webb; a younger character, former Spider-Woman Julia Carpenter, has subsequently taken over the role of the visionless superhero who can see into the future.
Producers of Venom and Spider-Man: No Way Home According to Deadline, the first to reveal Johnson was in talks to feature in Madame Web, Sony met with “a number of A-listers” for the SSU’s first female leading superhero. According to the article, Sony’s selection was whittled down shortly before the holidays when Johnson emerged as the frontrunner.
Dakota Johnson confirmed casting news with a spider-web emoji on her Instagram Stories, the most low-key way to do so. The photograph was acquired by a friendly Twitter fan account.
S.J. Clarkson, who directed The Defenders and Jessica Jones and was previously tapped by Paramount to direct Star Trek 4, runs from a script by Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless.
Sony is also producing Kraven the Hunter, starring Aaron Taylor-Johnson, and a female-led standalone picture directed by Olivia Wilde, rumored to be Spider-Woman. The Spidey spinoffs join Venom (2018), Venom: Let There Be Carnage (2021), and Morbius (2018) in Sony’s Spider-Man Universe, formerly known as the Sony Pictures Universe of Marvel Characters (2022).