In the ever-evolving world of superhero movie franchises, Sony’s Spider-Man universe has earned a pretty unique reputation. The franchise — which aims to make live-action films centered around Spider-Man-like characters that exist (largely) outside of the continuity of the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s Spider-Man films — has gotten there made some unexpected and fun decisions. So far there have been two poison installments, a long delayed disease Film and a number of other film and television projects in the works. On Thursday, Sony’s plans for its Marvel Universe again surprised the internet when it was revealed that Dakota Johnson is in talks to star in one Mrs. Netz solo movie.
While Mrs. Netz It’s been rumored to have been in the works one way or another since 2019 jessica jones Directing alum SJ Clarkson, this casting update confused the internet, especially given Madame Web’s unique position in the Marvel comics sphere. The original version of the character, Cassandra Webb, is traditionally portrayed as a blind, overpowered elderly woman connected to a spiderweb-like life support system, acting more as a handy plot device for other heroes and villains than as a superhero in her own right. That fact left fans wondering not only why 32-year-old Johnson should be cast as Madame Web, but what kind Mrs. Netz Film would even be approximate, with memes and copypasta quickly made of the character’s limited role in the comics. While realistically we’re still a long way from potentially seeing Mrs. Netz become a reality, there’s a chance the project could be something completely different than the story the internet (and even some journalists) are assuming. Sure, it could end up being a film about “young Cassandra Webb” — but it could also be a film about her successor, Julia Carpenter.
Created by Jim Shooter and Mike Zeck in the 1984s Secret Wars Storyline, Julia accidentally gained superpowers in a secret government commission study and began operating as the second Spider-Woman. After working in the corrupt government-created team Freedom Force, Julia broke from the ranks and became a true hero, eventually being inducted into the West Coast Avengers, the Secret Defenders, and Force Works. She also operated on a number of solo adventures, most notably against Death Web, a group also super-powered by The Commission. After dealing with the kidnapping of her daughter Rachel, Julia stepped down from her role as a superhero and returned to the events of the Civil War decades later as Arachne. She then received Madame Web’s powers – as well as her blindness – just before Cassandra Webb died. As Madame Web, Julia dealt with what was happening on Spider Island and with the events of the spider verse and No More Dead: The Clones Conspiracy storylines.
When you break down Julia’s comical tenure – the story of a wayward young woman and mother who acts as a superhero and eventually gains the telepathic powers and stewardship of Madame Web – it’s much easier to imagine the potential plot of one Mrs. Netz Movie. The film could hypothetically act as an amalgam of Juliet’s original origin story and the time she took on the role of Madame Web, with Cassandra’s legacy built in. That would then, in a roundabout way, allow the film to establish any combination of previously unseen Spider lore – including Spider-Island, The Commission, and everything else Julia is connected to. It’s also incredibly easy to picture Johnson, who has become such an indie darling with projects Suspiria, the lost daughterand the coming Cha Cha Real smoothsuitable for the role of Juliet.
If all of that is the case, it would make sense to title Julia’s solo film Mrs. Netz — especially given the other potential Marvel projects Sony has in the pipeline. Notably, in 2020, it was announced that Olivia Wilde would write and direct a female-fronted Marvel film, with reports suggesting it would focus on the original incarnation of Jessica Drew spider woman. In this way, the films could establish both Jessica and Julia at the same time without confusion, as the film version of Julia would function as Madame Web from the start.
Of course, there’s always the possibility that Mrs. Netz The film will truly feature Johnson as Cassandra Webb and attempt to chronicle a previously unseen origin story for one of Spider-Man’s most visually interesting villains. But don’t be surprised as future updates will revolve around the Mrs. Netz film come to light if it really follows the story of Julia Carpenter.
Which version of Madame Web do you think Sony’s film will see? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below!