Who’s Madame Web: Sony’s Spider-Man Spinoff, Explained

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Sony’s upcoming film “Madame Web” may serve as a connector between MCU’s Spider-Man and its unmentioned spawns.

Photo: Marvel Comics

Published on Oct 25, 2023

Madame Web is the latest entry to Sony’s rapidly expanding Spider-Man universe. It marks the first live-action appearance of Spider-Woman, even if we’ve previously seen her in the multiverse-trotting animated extravaganza. Oh, but it’s (probably) not a Spider-Woman story.

While Sydney Sweeney’s Julia Carpenter a.k.a. Spider-Woman could become a long-term staple of the MCU, this film revolves around “Madame Web” — or Cassandra Webb, an elderly psychic depicted with a neurological condition-induced blindness in the comics. Dakota Johnson will star as a younger version of Webb, but her connection to the MCU might be non-existent.

  • Previously slated for release July 7 this year, “Madame Web” has been pushed back multiple times — eventually landing a Feb. 14, 2024 release date.
  • Besides Johnson and Sweeney, the film also stars Emma Roberts (We’re the Millers) and Adam Scott (Severance), with a screenplay by “Morbius” writers Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless.

The film may also grace us with a Tobey Maguire cameo, seeing as it’s set in the 2000s. The parallels between Madame Webb and Doctor Strange make such appearances even more likely.

Madame Web may eventually turn into a Spider-Woman story.

Let’s face it: we’re in it for Spider-Woman. Marvel related Madame Webb’s appearance to Spider-Man’s need for a guiding light, with the latter considering her his “most trusted ally.” However, much like the current state of most superhero universes, there’s more than one version of the Creepy Clairvoyant — something the film will likely touch upon.

First appearing in “The Amazing Spider-Man #210” in 1980, Cassandra Webb was the original Madame Web — a telepathic, clairvoyant, precognitive mutant. Born blind, Webb suffers from myasthenia gravis — requiring her to stay fastened to a life support system her late husband fashioned.

Skipping some details, Madame Web served as a link between various Spider-Women: serving as a mentor to the third and the grandmother of the fourth. The film, however, would explore her connection to Julia Carpenter, the second Spider-Woman — to whom she passes on the mantle of Madame Web.

Killed by Sasha Kravinoff, the wife of Kraven the Hunter, Madame Web transfers her psychic powers onto Julia Carpenter. Going by the comics, the film could also connect Aaron Taylor Johnson’s “Kraven the Hunter” to the larger Spider-Man universe. As rumors suggest that Kraven the Hunter and other Spider-Man spinoffs could become canon to the MCU, Johnson’s “Madame Web” may serve as a major event.

The upcoming film does separate itself from the comics in one key aspect: it will be depicting Madame Web in her younger years. Of course, this doesn’t mean that the story has to change, but it does present an interesting dilemma for Spider-Woman and as a consequence Sydney Sweeney’s, future in the MCU.