Sydney Sweeney’s rumored role in Sony’s Madame Web might portend bad things for the MCU’s future. Madame Web is one of the upcoming films coming up in Sony’s Spider-Man Universe that started with Venom. While the SSU is currently missing their eponymous hero, thanks to Sony’s deal presumably keeping Tom Holland’s Spider-Man in the MCU, that doesn’t mean it will stay that way forever. After Spider-Man: No Way Home brought back Andrew Garfield, there’s hope that he can get the second shot he rightfully deserves. If they can make it work, he’d be the perfect uniting figure for the wayward and confusing franchise.
Madame Web is the perfect example of the strangely bold choices Sony is making in building their own franchise. While it came as a surprise that a supporting Spider-Man character would be getting her own movie, Madame Web’s cast is intriguingly enticing, and given the potential storyline, the film might just be what the SSU needs. Dakota Johnson stars as the titular clairvoyant, and she is joined by Emma Roberts, Adam Scott, and Sydney Sweeney. The Euphoria star is becoming more of a household name, and her role may be pivotal to the franchise at large, but more interestingly, even the MCU may feel affected by Sweeney’s character.
Sydney Sweeney May Be Playing Spider-Woman In Madame Web
In Madame Web, Johnson will be playing Cassandra Webb, a blind clairvoyant whose powers allow her to see within what is being called the “spider world.” Logically, Johnson could be an important uniting character for the disparate SSU as Madame Web, but Sydney Sweeney’s character is actually more pivotal overall. She will be playing Julia Carpenter, who not only becomes Webb’s successor but is also the second Spider-Woman, in Madame Web. There have been several different iterations of Spider-Woman throughout the comics, starting out with Jessica Drew, debuting in 1977, and then followed by Julia Carpenter in 1984. Others include Mattie Franklin, Gwen Stacy, and Ashley Barton.
It’s interesting that Sony is jumping right to Carpenter’s Spider-Woman, but given her connection to Madame Web and Spider-Man, it makes sense. While Spider-Man uses physical webbing, this Spider-Woman actually uses psychic energy to create her webs. In addition, after she becomes the second Madame Web, she gains Webb’s powers of clairvoyance and telepathy at the cost of her eyesight. Overall, Carpenter definitely makes sense as a character in Madame Web and the SSU at large, but she’s also interesting to consider, given Spider-Man’s multiverse connection. She actually debuted in Secret Wars and could’ve been brought into the MCU as part of Avengers: Secret Wars if not for Sony’s dealings.
Sony’s Spider-Man Universe Needs Spider-Woman To Even Remotely Succeed
Thus far, the SSU has been strange and disjointed. Venom and Venom: Let There Be Carnage were fun in their own right, and there’s plenty to appreciate in them. However, Morbius utterly confused the brand. Up next is Kraven the Hunter, and as one of Spider-Man’s greatest adversaries, he makes sense in these contexts. However, after that, they’ve made some weird decisions like El Muerto and Hypno Hustler, both about characters next to no name recognition. Spider-Woman’s inclusion in Madame Web can be the uniting force the SSU needs, especially since the MCU is keeping Tom Holland for Spider-Man 4 and beyond, presumably.
Frankly, their approach to a villain-centric franchise hasn’t worked. Not only do they need villains for audiences to rally behind – and Morbius certainly isn’t that – but they also need strong opposing forces to play with. A character like Spider-Woman can provide that. In truth, this could be setting up Sweeney’s Julia Carpenter as one of the big stars of the franchise with Tom Hardy’s Venom and whoever will play Silk in her upcoming SSU tv show, Silk: Spider Society. They can bring together the various disparate storylines and help center on an overarching narrative.
What About Spider-Woman In The MCU?
Sweeney’s casting as Julia Carpenter might mean that Jessica Drew’s Spider-Woman is still available for the MCU. There’s certainly a place for her, especially given her integral connection to the Secret Invasion comics arc. Yet, it’s not so simple as just introducing her like any other Marvel character. In fact, a theory for Emilia Clarke’s Secret Invasion character suggests that the show could be drawing from Spider-Woman’s history for someone else. Due to the dealings with Sony over rights, Jessica Drew’s future in the MCU isn’t certain, even if she’s available to use and would fit in better with that franchise over the SSU.
Sony wouldn’t want to give up any more of their key characters after giving Spider-Man to the MCU. Aptly, Jessica Drew will appear in Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse, voiced by Issa Rae. That role is supposedly set to expand for another team-up with Spider-Gwen and Silk. In live-action, there were also talks for a Spider-Woman film, possibly directed by Olivia Wilde, which would, of course, be the nail in the coffin for her MCU chances. While it would be great to see her fighting alongside Captain Marvel or Hawkeye, unfortunately, it might not come to pass even if Spider-Man: No Way Home set up Spider-Woman’s introduction.
This Might Spell Bad Things For Some MCU Fans
Jessica Drew isn’t the only Sony character whose MCU prospects may be dwindling based on their plans for the SSU. Frankly, Sony can’t afford to get rid of its most popular, powerful, and prolific characters if it hopes for the SSU to succeed. While her best home is truly in the MCU, Jessica Drew can still easily be integrated as part of the SSU. The one major character also affected is the one who fans have been desperate to see in the MCU since Spider-Man: Homecoming somewhat teased him – Miles Morales – but he may share Spider-Woman’s fate.
As the lead of the Spider-Verse series, and one of the most beloved Marvel heroes nowadays, Sony would be foolish to give Miles up. Many are hoping Avengers: Secret Wars can introduce Miles Morales as in the comics, and then he can team up with Peter Parker in Spider-Man 4 and beyond. However, Sony may instead decide to keep Miles for themselves and use him as their Spider-Man in the SSU, ensuring the franchise actually lives up to its name and that it could compete at the box office. The use of Spider-Woman in Madame Web may seem innocent, but it may block iconic heroes from joining the MCU.