• Madame Web
    offers a fresh take on an established hero, striking a balance between staying true to the source material and presenting the character in a different light.
  • The film explores themes of female and hero empowerment, showcasing the struggles, responsibilities, and growth of the protagonist.
  • The approach to the villain, Ezekiel Sims, brings a fresh perspective, focusing on his human motivations rather than traditional world domination desires. The film deliberately avoids connecting to a larger Marvel universe to prioritize the lead character’s journey.

In Madame Web, the latest installment in Sony’s Spider-Man Universe, Cassandra Web is a paramedic in Manhattan, New York struggling to deal with powers of clairvoyance. When her powers lead her to save three young women from an enigmatic man, the four will have to work together to survive. As Cassandra falls deeper down the rabbit hole, she’ll not only have to contend with her past, but what fate has in mind for her future as well.

Madame Web is directed by S. J. Clarkson and written by Matt Sazama, Burk Sharpless, and Claire Parker. Lorenzo di Bonaventura is the producer. Madame Web stars Dakota Johnson, Sydney Sweeney, Celeste O’Connor, Isabela Merced, and Tahar Rahim.


The Evil Spider-Man In Madame Web Explained – Who Is Ezekiel Sims?

The first Madame Web trailer introduces Ezekiel Sims, a surprising villain looking to be an Evil Spider-Man with very different origins in the comics.

Screen Rant interviewed Madame Web producer Lorenzo di Bonaventura. He discussed balancing the source material with a fresh take on the characters and the themes of empowerment. Di Bonaventura also broke down the character Ezekiel Sims and teased the highly anticipated GI Joe and Transformers crossover.

Lorenzo di Bonaventura On Adapting Madame Web For The Screen

Dakota Johnson as Cassandra Web In Paramedic Uniform With Crisis Scene In The Background In Madame Web

Screen Rant: Madame Web is a fun comic book movie, but I like the fact that it offers a fresh take on this established hero. Can you talk about balancing staying true to the source material while offering a fresh take on the character?

Lorenzo Di Bonaventura: It’s the balance that you try to pull off in a situation like this. On some levels, it gives you tremendous freedom because you have the room to do it. On other levels, it’s a little more terrifying because the fans will kill us if we don’t get it right. We’ll kill ourselves too, obviously.

The truth is, you are putting this character out there that the fans know and have a perspective on, and we’re presenting it in a very different light. That was the attraction to the property, the idea of a character who was blind. How did she get there? What is that? I think the advantage for us, or I should say the attraction, was for a vulnerable character to become an all-knowing character in a sense.

One of the themes I love is this film is empowerment. Can you talk about that a little bit?

Lorenzo Di Bonaventura: Yes. Look, it’s obviously a female empowerment movie on many levels, but it’s also a hero empowerment. I think one of the lessons I learned on Salt was I don’t see heroes as gender-specific anymore. I see them as fulfilling what we want them to achieve. I expect the hero to win the day. I expect the hero to [make] the right decision here.

What I like about this hero is that we get to see all the struggles. “Am I going crazy? What the hell is this thing? I don’t want the responsibility of these three girls. I’m taking on the responsibility of these three girls, and now I’ve got to fight this lunatic.” You get to go on, in a way, the true hero’s journey.

How Ezekiel Sims Became The Perfect Choice For Madame Web‘s Villain

Ezekiel Sims in Madame Web Trailer

I also love the approach to Ezekiel Sims’ character because he almost feels like a slasher movie Spider-Man villain. Was Kane Parker ever considered to be in this film at all?

Lorenzo Di Bonaventura: I think we looked at everything, honestly, in terms of the lore of it. Ezekiel just turned out to be the character that we found most appealing. What was so great is he’s not a character who wants world domination. He’s not a character that wants the traditional things that these villains usually have in this kind of movie. That’s why Ezekiel became that. He’s very human. “I don’t want to be killed. I’m going to kill those people who are going to kill me.” I hope the audience finds that as a fresh thing, and therefore a different kind of hero to enjoy.

Madame Web really opens the doors to a massive Marvel Universe beyond the MCU. When you were making this film, did you approach it with a larger universe in mind?

Lorenzo Di Bonaventura: We’re cognizant of the larger universe, but we specifically tried to stay away from it, honestly. Because I think – for me anyway, and I asked [S. J. Clarkson] too – we really wanted to make it about her and her journey. The more you start paying attention to the larger thing, the less you’re paying attention to the lead and her journey. That’s what was important to us. It’s not like I don’t like the universe, or S.J. doesn’t like the universe. It’s because we didn’t want to do it.

Look, I have to ask this. We saw a tease after Rise of the Beasts with G.I. Joe. When are we actually going to see the G.I. Joe back on screen crossing over the Transformers?

Lorenzo Di Bonaventura: Well, we’re hoping that that will be in the summer of ’26.

Why Spider-Man Would’ve Been “A Burden” To Include In Madame Web

Dakota Johnson as Cassandra Webb in the Madame Web trailer looking out of a car window

If you could team up any of these Madame Web characters with the previous Spider-Men, who would that be?

Lorenzo Di Bonaventura: The honest truth is we don’t want to pair them up. Look, that may change over time, and it may change when she becomes the blind character. For me, what I’m starting to find about these larger universes is it’s almost a burden to know all the different things. Again, we’re trying to make it her journey. In some respects, I’d want a new villain. I want a new experience, and I want a new challenge for her, but I don’t want it to play out in the larger universe that is available to us.

Will we eventually take it there? You never know where you’re going to go. But I think it’s been an advantage for this movie that we didn’t do it, so we’re probably going to stick to our guns.

About Madame Web

The suspense-driven thriller stars Dakota Johnson as Cassandra Webb, a paramedic in Manhattan who may have clairvoyant abilities. Forced to confront revelations about her past, she forges a relationship with three young women destined for powerful futures…if they can all survive a deadly present.

Check out our other Madame Web interviews:

Madame Web

hits theaters on February 14.

Source: Screen Rant Plus

Key Release Dates

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