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Slowly, but sure, the Sony Pictures Universe of Marvel Characters (yes, that is the official name) is coming together. Venom and Morbius the Living Vampire are leading the charge so far, and among the many projects that are in development is a movie centered on longtime Spider-Man player Madame Web. Now word’s come in that this project is one step closer to moving forward by hiring a director to oversee things.
According to Variety, S.J. Clarkson, who’s directed episodes of TV shows like Dexter, Jessica Jones and Collateral, has been tapped to develop a “first female-centric movie” for Sony’s Marvel universe. And while it’s not 100% clear yet who this character is, insiders say there’s a strong chance it will be Madame Web, whose movie was announced as being in development last September.
The article also noted that this Sony project doesn’t have a writer or star attached, but apparently the studio might be looking for a lead actor to come aboard first, and then someone will be hired to write the screenplay. Nevertheless, getting a female-driven property thrown into Sony’s Marvel lineup has been a priority for the studio, and hiring S.J. Clarkson means the project is now even closer to getting the official green light.
Assuming that happens, and subsequently that Madame Web is able to start shooting as soon as possible, that would make it the Sony Pictures Universe of Marvel Characters’ fourth movie. Venom kicked off the franchise in October 2018, and Morbius and Venom: Let There Be Carnage are both arriving next year. Other Sony Marvel movies in the works include Nightwatch, Silk and Kraven the Hunter, to name a few.
Although S.J. Clarkson made her directorial debut with the 2010 movie Toast, this Sony Marvel movie, whether it’s Madame Web or something else, will be her first time helming a big-budget studio picture. Clarkson was previously attached to direct Star Trek 4, i.e. the sequel to Star Trek Beyond, which would have made her the first woman to helm a Star Trek movie.
However, Star Trek 4 ended up being temporarily shelved, and S.J. Clarkson moved on to direct the pilot for one of the Game of Thrones prequels, which also ended up being set aside. While Fargo’s Noah Hawley has now boarded a new Star Trek movie, it’s unclear if this’ll be something akin to Star Trek 4 or an entirely different project.
For those unfamiliar with the original Madame Web, real name Cassandra Webb, she debuted in 1980’s The Amazing Spider-Man #210. Rather than boasting the same kind of arachnid-themed powers that Peter Parker has, Madame Web is a blind and paralyzed mutant who’s gifted with powers like telepathy, clairvoyance, precognition and being able to sense psionic abilities in others.
Not only is Cassandra Webb the grandmother of Charlotte Witter, the fourth individual to go by Spider-Woman, but she also passed on her blindness and precognition to Julia Carpenter, who was the second Spider-Woman and is the current Madame Web. It’s unclear whether the Madame Web movie will follow Cassandra or Julia, and Variety’s report even acknowledges that because Cassandra never actively fought villains, it’s possible this project S.J. Clarkson is working on could evolve into something else.
Be sure to keep checking back with CinemaBlend for more updates on Madame Web and the rest of the Sony Pictures Universe of Marvel Characters. For know, look through our 2020 release schedule to learn what’s expected to hit theaters later in the year.