‘Madame Web’ Released Among Dakota Johnson’s Complaints of ‘Drastic’ Script Changes

‘Madame Web’ Released Among Dakota Johnson’s Complaints of ‘Drastic’ Script Changes

Madame Web, Sony’s latest Marvel film, has been released today to the general disapproval of critics, and amid reports by star Dakota Johnson that the script underwent “drastic changes” during production.

“And I can’t even tell you what they were,” Johnson was quoted in The Wrap as saying.

In Madame Web, Johnson plays the leading role of Cassandra Webb, a Manhattan paramedic with clairvoyant powers. She bonds with three young women (played by Sydney Sweeney, Isabela Merced, and Celeste O’Connor), who are being stalked by a masked man, played by Tahar Rahim. Sweeney plays the role of Julia Cornwall Carpenter, who eventually becomes Spider-Woman.

Budgeted at $80 million, Madame Web was directed by S. J. Clarkson and shot largely in Massachusetts in 2023. According to Johnson, the changes stemmed from the complexities of the plot, which required shooting the same scenes over and over from different perspectives. She complained that she got “lost” during the process.

“It added so many different camera set-ups, like triple the amount of work,” she said. “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 extensive use of blue-screen technology prompted many of Johnson’s issues. The actor had earlier been quoted in Entertainment Weekly as complaining, “I’ve never really done a movie where you are on a blue screen, and there’s fake explosions going off, and someone’s going, ‘Explosion!’ and you act like there’s an explosion. That to me was absolutely psychotic,” she added.

“I was like, ‘I don’t know if this is going to be good at all! I hope that I did an OK job!’”

In spite of her misgivings, Johnson is eager to continue working in the series. She was quoted in Comicbook.com as saying, “It would be so fun to do more. I don’t know what would happen. I admire so many of the actors that play superheroes but obviously, it would be cool to work with Spider-Man. But [Madame Web isn’t in] the Spider-Verse and it’s her world so I don’t know what kind of crossover there’d be.”

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