As Spider-Man: No Way Home swings from strength to strength, the film's distributor Sony is mapping out the parameters of its expanding movie universe. The Sony Spider-Man Universe (SSMU) is positioned as adjacent to the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU) with occasional overlap between franchise properties and characters. The Sony-owned Spider-Man appearing in the Disney-distributed MCU movies, which includes No Way Home, is the main example of this.
We've already had two Venom movies in the SSMU starring Tom Hardy, and the Jared Leto vehicle Morbius is set to arrive this April, following several delays. As per No Way Home's post-credits scene, we're now starting to get glimpses of the potential Venom/Spidey crossover for which fans have been hankering for a long time. And another puzzle piece is about to click into place with the news that Dakota Johnson is in talks to portray Madame Web in the SSMU.
The 50 Shades of Grey star is poised to lead her own standalone superhero movie for director S.J. Clarkson, confirms Deadline. Clarkson is best known for her work on the Marvel series The Defenders and Jessica Jones. This would be the first movie in the SSMU that is led by a female character, and comic book fans will know that Madame Web is rife with plenty of big-screen potential.
Introduced in 1980, Madame Web is a blind, clairvoyant mutant whose destiny frequently overlaps with that of Spider-Man. She's also at the centre of her own multiverse tangle, so could we potentially see a crossover between Johnson's character and Tom Holland's iteration of the wall-crawler? That, of course, is dependent on whether Holland returns to the role – there have been conflicting reports with producer Amy Pascal saying it's a lock, and Holland downplaying such suggestions.
The notion of shared movie universes is set to expand with the May 2022 release of Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. In the meantime, we'll bring you more news on the Madame Web movie when we get it. In the meantime, if you can't wait to swing along with Spider-Man again, click here to book your tickets for Spider-Man: No Way Home.