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'Madame Web' is an upcoming American superhero film based on the Marvel Comics character of the same name, produced by Columbia Pictures and Di Bonaventura Pictures. Distributed by Sony Pictures Releasing, it is intended to be the sixth film in Sony's Spider-Man Universe (SSU). The film is being directed by S. J. Clarkson from a screenplay by Burk Sharpless and Matt Sazama, and stars Dakota Johnson in the title role.
Sony began development on a Madame Web film for its shared universe by September 2019, with Sharpless and Sazama hired to write a script. Clarkson joined the project in May 2020, and Johnson was cast in early 2022, followed by additional castings in the following months. Filming began in mid-July 2022, occurring in Boston and throughout Massachusetts until that September, before shooting in New York and Mexico, for an expected conclusion by mid-October.
'Madame Web' is scheduled to be released in the United States on February 16, 2024.
* Dakota Johnson as Madame Web: a clairvoyant whose psychic abilities allow her to see within the "spider world"
Additionally, Sydney Sweeney, Celeste O'Connor, Isabela Merced, Tahar Rahim, Emma Roberts, Mike Epps, Adam Scott, and Zosia Mamet have been cast in undisclosed roles.
DevelopmentAfter their work on the Marvel Comics-based film 'Morbius' (2022), part of Sony's Spider-Man Universe (SSU), Sony Pictures hired Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless in September 2019 to write a script centered around the Marvel character Madame Web. Sony's executive vice president Palak Patel was overseeing the project. Kerem Sanga had previously written a draft for the film. In May 2020, S. J. Clarkson was hired to develop and direct Sony's first female-centric Marvel film, which was reported to be 'Madame Web'. The studio was looking to attach a prominent actress such as Charlize Theron or Amy Adams to the project, before hiring a new writer to further develop the film with her in mind. After meeting with several "A-listers" for the title role, Sony narrowed their shortlist during December 2021 and January 2022. Dakota Johnson became the frontrunner by the end of 2021, and was in talks to star as Madame Web by early February. Clarkson was confirmed to be directing 'Madame Web' at that time. In March, Sydney Sweeney was cast in the film alongside Johnson. Justin Kroll of 'Deadline Hollywood' described the project as being "Sony's version of 'Doctor Strange'" due to Madame Web's comic book abilities, though he noted that the film could be departing from the source material since the comics version of Madame Web is an elderly woman, named Cassandra Webb, connected to a life-support system that looks like a spider web. Kroll noted because of this that the film reportedly could "turn into something else". Grant Hermanns of 'Screen Rant' noted speculation on whether Johnson was playing Cassandra Webb or the younger Julia Carpenter iteration of the character. A month later, Sony gave 'Madame Web' a release date of July 7, 2023, and confirmed Johnson and Sweeney would star in the film. Di Bonaventura Pictures co-produces the film alongside Columbia Pictures, with Lorenzo di Bonaventura, Erik Howsam, and Patel serving as producers.
Pre-productionIn May 2022, Sony Pictures CEO and chairman Tom Rothman stated that filming would begin "in the spring", and Celeste O'Connor was cast in the film, which was described as an origin story for the titular character. In June, Isabela Merced, Tahar Rahim, and Emma Roberts also joined the cast. Sabina Graves of 'Gizmodo' opined that the other actresses could be portraying "more recognizable" characters such as Jessica Drew / Spider-Woman and Gwen Stacy in a "reimagining" of the 'Spider-Verse' comic. The film had been reported to be "something else under the guise" of the Madame Web character. By then, filming was set to begin in mid-July 2022. Sweeney said she was "about to" start filming, while Johnson was training ahead of starting filming in July. Mike Epps joined the cast that month.
FilmingPrincipal photography began on July 11, 2022, in the Financial District of Boston through July 14, with scenes modeling 2000s New York City, including Chinatown, Manhattan. Filming occurs using the working title 'Claire'. Shortly after filming started, Adam Scott joined the cast, and the film's release date was delayed to October 6, 2023. In late July, filming occurred in Allston at Kelton Street. Zosia Mamet was cast in August. Filming that month occurred in Chelsea, Massachusetts, while construction of a set in Andover, Massachusetts had also begun to stand-in for the 4-Star Diner, a comics location, and took place at baseball fields in West Andover. Filming occurred in Worcester, Massachusetts for precision driving and exterior street shots in mid-September to last for three days, on various street locations, using the working titles 'Claire' and 'Peru'. At that time, the release was further delayed to February 16, 2024. Filming will also take place in other areas in the South Shore of Massachusetts, including a former hangar of the Naval Air Station South Weymouth. Filming in Massachusetts, particularly for the Boston unit, will last for three months until September 2022. The production will then film in New York and Mexico, for an expected conclusion on October 15.
'Madame Web' is scheduled to be theatrically released in the United States on February 16, 2024, in IMAX. It was previously scheduled for July 7, 2023, and then on October 6, 2023.
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