Dakota Johnson, Star of ‘Madame Web,’ Disclosed That the Film’s Script Underwent “Significant” Alterations

Madame Web

In September 2019, Sony commenced work on a ‘Madame Web’ film for its shared universe, known as the SSU, enlisting Sazama and Sharpless to craft the screenplay. Clarkson was appointed as a director in May 2020, marking her debut in feature film direction. Dakota Johnson secured her role in early 2022, with additional casting, particularly for the Spider-Women characters, unfolding in the months that followed.

The film, categorized as a suspense thriller, narrates Madame Web’s origin story within a standalone universe, emphasizing a grounded approach. Despite its premiere on February 12 and a worldwide release today, the review embargo lifted just yesterday, indicating a delayed unveiling. Initial reactions hint at reasons for the delay, reflected in the film’s current 17% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, aligning with a trend of lackluster performances within Sony’s Spider-Man Universe.

In anticipation of the premiere, Dakota Johnson spoke to The Wrap about the movie’s tumultuous script development, shedding light on the challenges encountered along the way.

There were drastic changes. And I can’t even tell you what they were.

Dakota revealed that the script she initially signed up to film underwent substantial revisions by the time production commenced. A major issue highlighted was her character’s capability to foresee the future.

It added so many different camera set-ups, like triple the amount of work, and it was very complex, and there’s only like minor differences between each version of the same scene, so it was like puzzle pieces, and really paying attention to what moment we’re in, and what angle we’re in, and continuity and things like that.

The primary indication of altered dialogue lies in the absence of the infamous meme-worthy line: “He was in the Amazon with my mom when she was researching spiders right before she died,” which seems to be entirely omitted from the film.

Unfortunately, despite numerous revisions and the removal of awkward lines, ‘Madame Web’ appears destined for a challenging fate. Recent box office projections paint a bleak picture, with estimates suggesting it may earn less than ‘Morbius’ – a surprising turn of events.


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Projections for the opening weekend box office of ‘Madame Web’ range from $25 million to $35 million, with an anticipated total domestic box office range of $56 million to $101 million. In contrast, ‘Morbius,’ often regarded as one of the weakest films, managed to garner $73.9 million in the United States and Canada, coupled with $93.6 million in other territories, resulting in a worldwide gross of $167.5 million.

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