If you are a fan of all things Spider-Man, there has never been a more exciting time to be a superhero movie enthusiast. Besides Marvel Studios deciding to pull the trigger on a multiversal Spider-Men fantasy dream team in Spider-Man: No Way Home by including the likes of Tom Holland, Andrew Garfield, and Tobey Mcguire all on screen at once, nobody can forget that Sony Pictures Entertainment is following suit by dipping their toes into Spider-Man’s universe as well.
With the releases of Venom, Venom: Let There Be Carnage, and Morbius (with the latter being received quite poorly by fans and critics alike) in their pocket, Sony seems to slowly be building the foundation towards their own web-slinger world with a slew of debuting characters.
In September 2019, a blockbuster announcement was made by Sony Pictures when they hired film writers Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless to bring another rich-in-lore but theatrically unexplored Spider-Man character to the big screen, the infamous Madame Web. Cassandra Webb (Madame Web’s actual name) began her eventful existence in Spider-Man history as an elderly woman who suffers from a disease known as myasthenia gravis.
In her most well-known memorable appearances to date, Madame Web is depicted as not only being physically impaired but also blind. This is because the myasthenia gravis rapidly disables the body’s entire neuromuscular skeletal system. Thankfully, her superhero alias provides a lighthearted spin on this debilitating condition. The many wires and cords that help power the life support system that keeps Webb alive all tower behind her like some sort of giant spider web.
Different Versions of Madame Web
Don’t let Madame Web’s frail physical appearance and very limited mobility fool you into thinking that her on-screen debut in Sony’s Spider-Man Universe will be unremarkable. Making up for her skeletal affliction, she is gifted with evolved abilities of the mind’s eye. Madame Web can harness the powers of telepathy, use clairvoyance to see all possibilities of the future, perform psychic surgery on others if need be, as well as utilizing the art of astral projection. Using these powers, she has teamed up with the likes of Spider-Man, Spider-Girl, Spider-Woman, Spider-Gwen, and Silk, among other notable Marvel characters.
The synopsis for the Madame Web movie follows that of an origin story. Given that the role for the title character was given to 32-year-old actress Dakota Johnson, the question is up in the air regarding if the story will be centered around the much older Cassandra Webb or a much younger, alternate version of the heroine instead. In July 2022, while on the set of Madame Web, Johnson was seen wearing an outfit familiar to Julia Carpenter, the second Spider-Woman, to whom the original Madame Web gave her powers right before she died.
The question surrounding what version we’ll see naturally opens up another ingredient of the Madame Web movie that is just as important but has yet to be acknowledged. As with any movie in the superhero genre, there must be an opposing force for the hero to overcome and defeat by the time the closing credits crawl up the screen. As of this writing, no such character has been confirmed for Madame Web.
Familiar Villains Lay the Groundwork
Even though no press releases have been made yet, a very interesting fan theory has been gaining momentum on Reddit recently. A poster of r/FanTheories states that the film’s antagonist will be the fourth Spider Woman, Charlotte Witter, who turns into a villain when the formidable Doctor Octopus captures her and implants spider limbs onto her back. She is then handed the task of going back in time and killing a yet-to-be-birthed Peter Parker, which in turn would stop any trouble Doc Ock might have with his own nefarious goals in the future.
Using her clairvoyance, Madame Web takes notice of his cunning plan and honorably calls upon three other Spider-Women to take Witter down before she ends up stopping the esteemed timeline that we have grown to love.
Another possibility for the main villain of the Madame Web movie is Kraven the Hunter’s daughter, Ana Kravinoff. Deep within the pages of the Amazing Spider-Man comic book series, Ana kills the original Madame Web during a failed attempt to bring back dead family members (one of them being her father). Combining that original plot line with the fact that Sony Pictures is releasing a Kraven the Hunter movie in January 2023, the odds are stacked in favor of Kraven’s daughter being a critical part of the movie.
Because most of the confirmed casting announcements for Madame Web are numerous female actresses whose in-movie roles have not been publicly stated yet, Charlotte Witter and Cassandra Webb’s characters are both very much feasible story options.
Besides those two favorable contenders, there is also a chance that the main antagonist of the film could be a more Spider-Man-centric villain such as Chameleon, Electro, or even the Jackal. They have all had feuds with Madame Web at different points in time. Whomever the writers and producers choose to stand against the likes of Madame Web and her psychic prowess, this theatrical entry into Sony’s Spider-Man Universe is sure to be a hit with audiences when it web-swings into theaters on October 6th, 2023.