- Dakota Johnson teases her Madame Web stunt-driving skills and playfully compares herself to Tom Cruise.
- Johnson wanted her character to feel relatable and grounded in reality, with a focus on Cassandra Webb’s human experiences rather than her superpowers.
- Director S.J. Clarkson explores the psychological and cerebral nature of Cassandra’s character, emphasizing her internal struggles and journey of self-discovery.
Are fans ready to get tangled in Dakota Johnson’s web? The star of the Fifty Shades of Grey cinematic trilogy has long since given up the red room of pain and is now becoming the latest of Marvel’s superhero characters to inhabit Sony’s live-action Spider-Verse. And, as it turns out, Madame Web’s titular star, Johnson, has much more than just her A-list acting chops to contribute. In fact, Johnson jokingly compares her stunt driving to that of Tom Cruise. Johnson said in an exclusive interview with Entertainment Weekly:
“I got to do a day of stunt driving work, and I’m really good at it, it seems! I mean, I can do some really wild things with a car. I drove an ambulance. I drove a taxicab. I drove everything in the movie — except for flying through the air and out of a building. But other than that, I’m like, ‘Watch out, Tom Cruise.’”
Johnson dons the guise of the comic book character, Casandra Webb, who first appeared in the pages of the Amazing Spider-Man (Vol. 1) No. 210 in 1980. But despite becoming a member of the vaunted Spider-Verse, the actress portraying Webb wasn’t sure about becoming a big-screen hero. Johnson continued:
“I got sent this script, and I was like, ‘I don’t know about me being a superhero.’ I was sort of mystified by her powers. I felt like, ‘Oh, I really would love to see that superhero. I would love to see a young woman whose superpower is her mind.’”
Dakota Johnson Weaves Madame’s Web
- Release Date
- February 14, 2024
Dakota Johnson will officially join Marvel and Sony’s shared universe when the Creepy Clairvoyant Cassandra Webb makes her way into theaters this February. While Cassandra’s super-powered proclivity to see the future is arguably the character’s most intriguing trait, Johnson wants to make sure there’s a realism audiences can relate to. Johnson said in the same interview:
“It was really important to me that she’s really human and grounded in reality, and that her life feels like, ‘Oh, I can relate to that.’ Sometimes it’s hard to relate to someone shooting lasers out of their eyes [smiles]. I mean, not for me [deadpans]. I obviously do that all the time.”
S.J. Clarkson (Jessica Jones, The Defenders) certainly isn’t averse to working in the superhero genre. And Clarkson not only receives credit as a co-screenwriter, but she also serves as Madame Webb’s director. Clarkson told EW in the same interview:
“I really love the idea of somebody who can see into the future, but until they can really understand their past and appreciate where they are, they can’t use that power. Without wanting to overload it with profundity, I thought that’s an amazing thing to explore: If we understand our past and see where we are in the present, we can then make better choices for the future […]
I loved the psychological, cerebral nature. Not to sound too wanky about it, but it’s about what’s going on in [Cassandra’s] head and her grappling with that. Is she going insane? Is this real? She’s battling with that within herself and trying to understand it.”
Clarkson also addressed the film being set in 2003, and how Cassandra fits into Spider-Man’s cinematic world. Clarkson told EW:
“She’s definitely in a standalone world. I was able to just have free rein and let the movie be what it needed to be, as opposed to trying to force it into something else. That was a gift, in a way, to be able to take something and bring a fresh and I hope original take to it.”
Madame Web opens in theaters on Valentine’s Day. And fans can check out the Madame Web trailer right now.