The Spider-Verse Just Got A Bit More Confusing
The first trailer for Sony’s Madame Web shows Dakota Johnson leading an all-female cast of young Spider-heroes as they stop an obscure Spider-Man villain from picking them off one by one in a plot that sounds as confusing as the trailer looks.
Sony has been really scraping at the bottom of the barrel with all their Spider-Man IPs lately. The studio has had a slew of hits and misses when it comes to their shared Spider-Man Universe. With the exception of both Spider-Verse films and 2018’s Venom, Sony’s attempt to take characters from the Spider-Man comics and give them their own stand-alone films has been a bit of a strange gamble. Unfortunately, the recent trailer for Madame Web proves how desperate the studio is to keep its Spider-Man Universe alive.
Who is Madame Web?
There have been two incarnations of the character throughout Spider-Man lore. The original Madame Web was Cassandra Webb, a blind, telepathic, clairvoyant elderly woman who was stricken with myasthenia gravis and connected to a life support system designed by her husband, Jonathan Webb. Cassandra used her abilities to advise Peter Parker whenever he needed guidance or warn him of an imminent threat. The character was most notably present throughout the hit ‘90s Fox Kids television series Spider-Man: The Animated Series, where she was portrayed as a cosmic being from an alternate dimension who was revealed to be a servant to The Beyonder.
Before meeting her fate at the hands of Sasha Kravinoff, Cassandra transferred her psychic powers over to Julia Carpenter, aka Spider-Woman, making her the new Madame Webb. In addition to her new powers, Julia also inherits Cassandra’s blindness but is still able to go into battle, using her clairvoyance as a way to detect danger.
What’s Happening in the Trailer?
The trailer introduces us to a young Cassandra Webb, played by Johnson. This version of the character is an EMT paramedic who, after drowning in a river from saving a pedestrian, obtains the ability to see into the future. Cassandra’s new powers allow her to see visions of a mysterious man (Tahar Rahim), attempting to kill her. After a deadly confrontation on a subway, Cassandra runs into three young women (Sydney Sweeney, Isabela Merced, and Celeste O’Connor), all of whom discover they share a strange connection with her. While trying to make sense of what’s transpiring, Cassandra discovers that all four women share a similar destiny and fight to keep their future alive.
Though we only get quick glimpses, it is revealed that each woman is, in fact, various Spider-Women in the comics. Sydney Sweeney portrays Julia Carpenter, the second woman to don the Spider-Woman mantle and the future Madame Webb. The trailer shows a quick shot of Sweeney in a very comic-accurate black-and-white costume. We also get reveals of Merced’s and O’Connor’s costumes as they take on the roles of Anya Corazon, aka Spider-Girl, and Mattie Franklin, the third Spider-Woman.
The trailer also reveals the film’s big bad, Ezekiel Sims (Rahim). In the comics, Sims is a businessman who ritualistically gained powers similar to Spider-Man through the Spider-Totems, a class of multiversal supernatural entities that bestow their powers onto those they choose. Though Sims is an ally to Peter Parker in the comics, the film portrays him as a Spider-Man-like villain, donning a costume similar to the web-slinger. Packed with enough action and car chases, the trailer promises a climactic final battle with all four women taking on Sims in a third act that looks to mimic Spider-Man: No Way Home.
Cast and Release Date
Marvel’s first female-led movie is directed by S.J. Clarkson (Jessica Jones, The Defenders), who also co-wrote the film’s screenplay with Claire Parker and Kerem Sanga. The film also stars Adam Scott and Emma Roberts as a young Ben and Mary Parker. The reveal of Peter Parker’s parents in the movie possibly alludes to a bigger story involving everyone’s favorite friendly neighborhood Spider-Man, playing a significant role in the film’s plot. Until then, fans will only have to speculate where this story stands in the grand scheme of Sony’s Spider-Man Universe.
Madame Web hits theaters on February 14, 2024.
Madame Web (2024) Official Sony Pictures Trailer