Emma Roberts is all set to join lead actor Dakota Johnson in Sony’s Madame Web along with Sydney Sweeney, Celeste O’Connor, Isabela Merced, and Tahar Rahim.
As one of the Spider-Verse’s more obscure, mysterious characters, Madame Web, aka Cassandra Webb, comes with plenty of new ground for superhero fans to explore.
Comic Book Origins
With her first appearance dating all the way back to 1980, in The Amazing Spider-Man #210, Madame Web was created by writer-artist pairing Dennis O’Neil and John Romita Jr.
A powerful psychic, Cassandra Webb is an in-universe mutant, who despite suffering an intense neuromuscular condition and lifelong blindness, developed a great reputation for predicting the future and serving as an ally to a host of classic Marvel Heroes.
She gets her name from the life-support system her husband Jonathan Webb designed to keep her alive, which took the form of a large network of tubes, designed to resemble a spider’s web.
The character had a long history of working with Spider-Man, who initially considered her a fraud. Desperate for help while trying to solve a kidnapping, he resorts to visiting her, and is surprised to find her attached to the massive life-support device.
Using her powers to predict the future and sense psychic auras, the two joined forces, often asking each other for assistance throughout their various comic book arcs, with Spider-Man often relying on her for spiritual guidance.
Powers And (Dis)abilities
Classified as a mutant by Marvel, Madame Web possesses the same ‘X-gene’ associated with the Wolverine, Professor X, and all other X-Men, with whom she often crosses paths in the comics.
Apart from telepathy, clairvoyance, and the ability to draw latent psychic powers in others, she has the ability to perform ‘psychic surgery’ on others, literally shaping their minds and memories. She can even project into the astral world, a power we’ve seen Doctor Strange dabble with in his first film.
Similar to Professor X, Madame Web is another physically disabled superhero, suffering from a serious case of myasthenia gravis along with blindness. While she occasionally gets ‘cured’ in some storylines, the condition results in extreme muscle weakness, caused by an autoimmune disorder, which hampers the connection between a person’s nerves and muscles.
As a result, Madame Web is largely reliant on her life support web and allied superheroes to survive, although her powerful psychic abilities do come in handy.
There’s plenty of weight resting on Sony’s next Spider-Verse film, which has been in development since right after the studio tanked hard with Morbius — which tanked not once, but twice at the box office, courtesy an onslaught of tongue-in-cheek memes.
That said, Sony is still riding high after a phenomenal 2021, making a combined $2.35 billion worldwide, perhaps explaining why Morbius scriptwriters, Burk Sharpless and Matt Sazama retained their gigs for Madame Web. The film will be directed by Jessica Jones director S.J. Clarkson
While details are still tight around the film’s plot, Sony announced a theatrical release for Madame Web on July 7, 2023.
(Featured Image Credits: Marvel Comics)