- Sony’s upcoming Madame Web movie explores the origins and lives of multiple Spider-Man-related characters from Marvel Comics.
- The introduction of Ezekiel Sims as a dark Spider-Man villain adds a unique twist to Sony’s Spider-Man universe, deviating from the MCU’s depiction of Peter as a purely heroic character.
- The MCU’s Spider-Man is unlikely to ever go down a dark path, as it goes against the branding and popularity of the character. Any dark storylines with Peter would be a major risk for Marvel Studios, but fits well in Sony’s universe.
With the release of the trailer for the upcoming Madame Web movie, Sony has demonstrated that it’s willing to explore a Spider-Man storyline the MCU would be too afraid to tackle. Starring Dakota Johnson, Madame Web tells the story of Cassandra Webb, a paramedic who develops precognitive and clairvoyant abilities and uses those powers to protect three young girls, all destined to become Spider-People, from a deadly threat. The film is speculated to be set before Peter Parker’s time, and Adam Scott may even be playing a young Ben Parker. It’s the latest in Sony’s ever-expanding Spider-Man universe, which may increase in popularity with the lack of MCU movies releasing next year.
Through its deals with Disney/Marvel Studios, Sony has already introduced a number of classic Spider-Man characters to the MCU, including Green Goblin, Doc Oc, and multiple variants of Peter Parker. Further, Sony’s Spider-Verse movies have brought countless non-Peter Parker variants of Spider-Man to the big screen, really honing in the message that anyone can be Spider-Man. Madame Web marks the first Sony live-action movie that will explore the origins and lives of other Spider-People besides Peter, and it does so in a very interesting way that makes it distinct from the MCU’s portrayal of Peter. The unique direction Sony has decided to take with its upcoming movie signals it is willing to take more risks than the MCU.
Madame Web Uses A Story MCU’s Spider-Man 4 Would Be Too Scared To Use
Madame Web introduces a new dark Spider-Man by the name of Ezekiel Sims to the Sony universe, becoming the first time a Spider-Person is the sole villain of one of its movies. Based on the trailer, Ezekiel appears to have clairvoyant abilities like Cassandra, and these abilities likely share the same origin, as Ezekiel once worked with Cassandra’s mother before she died. Ezekiel sees that, in the future, he is killed by three Spider-People named Julia Carpenter (Spider-Woman), Anya Corazon (Spider-Girl), and Mattie Franklin (Spider-Woman). So he tries to kill them in the present day, and Cassandra uses her psychic abilities to predict his attacks and keep the girls safe.
Sony has explored stories with dark and villainous Spider-People before, notably with Peter Parker becoming corrupted by the Venom symbiote in Spider-Man 3 and Miguel O’Hara’s authoritarianism in Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse. The MCU could introduce a dark Spider-Man story in its fourth Spider-Man movie, but it is unlikely considering this version of Peter has only ever been depicted as heroic. Spider-Man: No Way Home revealed that Peter is heroic to a fault, as it is his good nature that leads to multiversal villains wreaking havoc in his world. Because MCU Peter has been portrayed as exceptionally good, a storyline with Spider-Man going rogue would be a pretty radical change.
Why The MCU’s Spider-Man Likely Won’t Ever Have Marvel’s Darker Storylines
The MCU likely will never depict stories with its Spider-Man going dark, as it would be bad for branding. MCU’s Peter stands out because of how kind and good-natured he is, even compared to his multiversal counterparts. His variants in No Way Home serve as his mentors and encourage him to stay on his heroic, righteous path as they both have gone down dark paths in their pasts and deeply regret them. This good-natured version of Peter has been extremely popular with audiences and fits right in with Disney’s family-friendly brand, so it is unlikely that Marvel will ever make him go dark, as it would be a big risk to take with one of its most successful heroes.
MCU’s Peter going dark would also undo a lot of his character development in No Way Home, as losing Aunt May was the first time he suffered a loss so great that it made him consider acting out of vengeance rather than heroism. He is determined to kill Green Goblin until Tobey Maguire’s Peter stops him. Peter then makes the ultimate sacrifice by making everyone forget him, further cementing his fundamentally good nature. The next Spider-Man movie depicting him as dark would potentially undo a lot of that development. So, for now, audiences can experience a dark live-action Spider-Man in Madame Web.