LOS ANGELES - Fifty Shades star Dakota Johnson is in talks to take on the title role of Madame Web in a movie spin-off from the Spider-Man films.
In an exclusive on entertainment site Deadline on Thursday (Feb 3), sources revealed that Sony was looking to expand on its universe of Marvel characters after the massive success of Spider-Man: No Way Home, which was the biggest film of 2021 with US$1.7 billion (S$2.3 billion) in global box office receipts.
The studio reportedly auditioned a number of Hollywood A-listers for the role of Madame Web, an elderly clairvoyant mutant who predicts the future of Spider-themed superheroes.
However, the character has never fought any villains as she is both blind and paralysed, and connected to a life support system that looks like a spiderweb.
Madame Web will be Johnson's biggest studio feature since her breakout role in the Fifty Shades trilogy (2015 to 2018) with actor Jamie Dornan.
The 32-year-old actress has been focusing on indie films, starring in and producing Am I OK? (2022) and Cha Cha Real Smooth (2022), which was sold to Apple for US$15 million after premiering at the Sundance Film Festival in January.
She can also be seen in Netflix's acclaimed psychological drama, The Lost Daughter (2021), which is directed by Maggie Gyllenhaal.
Director S. J. Clarkson, who worked on Marvel superhero series The Defenders (2017) and Jessica Jones (2015 to 2019), will helm Madame Web.