A new report indicated Madame Web star Dakota Johnson "is the prototype" for one of Marvel Studios' biggest roles looking for an actress.
Since the Multiverse Saga got underway, Marvel has had a host of superhero roles going in Hollywood including the Eternals, Fantastic Four, and more, with that number only enhanced by those wanted for Sony's Spider-Man Universe.
Having found her big break with her starring role in the naughty Fifty Shade franchise, actress Dakota Johnson recently entered the superhero game with her casting as Madame Web in Sony's 2024 Spider-Man spin-off.
Johnson will play the clairvoyant Cassandra Webb in the upcoming Madame Web movie alongside Sydney Sweeney, Adam Scott, and more, with set photos having revealed a stunning look at her superhero movie costume.
Dakota Johnson Inspires Marvel's Next Big Superhero Casting
Speaking on The Hot Mic Podcast, Above the Line's Jeff Sneider revealed that Fifty Shade and Madame Web star Dakota Johnson "is the prototype" for Marvel Studios' Sue Storm casting for Fantastic Four.
The renowned insider noted that popular fan cast Saoirse Ronan - who is 28 years old - may be a "little too young" for what Marvel Studios is going for, as they search for a Johnson-type in a "30-35 age range:
“… As far as Fantastic Four goes, I mean… When we were talking about her age… Sue Storm’s age… and said they’re gonna start building around Sue Storm. And then I put out Saoirse [Ronan], and someone had come forward, and said Saoirse seems a little too young… So we’re looking at that 30-35 age range and, from what I understand, Dakota Johnson is the prototype."
The news follows reports that Marvel Studios plans to cast the Invisible Woman first and build the rest of the team around her, which Sneider appears to be supporting.
The studio is said to be "gearing up" the casting process this month ahead of a reported early 2024 production plan.
However, Sneider clarified "it’s not... going to be Dakota Johnson" due to her focus on Sony's Spider-Man spin-off Madame Web. The insider also added that Johnson's inspiration for the casting does "not necessarily" mean they are looking for a white woman:
"But it’s not, obviously, going to be Dakota Johnson, because she is Madame Web… which, I believe, is undergoing reshoots right now too. So, it’s not going to be Dakota Johnson. Dakota Johnson is 32, I think, so does that mean that they’re looking at a white woman? Not necessarily. But you know, I think in an ideal world… they would like someone like Dakota Johnson.”
This information has not been confirmed by either Marvel Studios or Disney and should be considered strictly rumor.
Marvel Studios' Sue Storm Casting Template Explained
One can only wonder if Fantastic Four's search for a Dakota Johnson-type actress will leave the star wishing she had passed on Madame Web and held out for a superhero role at Marvel Studios instead.
After all, Sony's Spider-Man Universe has a history of poor box office results and disappointing critical reception, but perhaps that curse can finally be broken in the coming year.
Johnson called her time on Madame Web "a wild experience" and "a completely different way of making films" from what she is used to, so it sounds like she enjoyed her time with the movie. As of now, it remains unclear whether Johnson and her co-stars have a future in Sony's Spider-Man Universe beyond Madame Web - that will likely depend on the critical and financial results.
What exactly the description of Dakota Johnson-type actress means is slightly unclear, especially when Sneider clarified this does not necessarily mean the search is limited to white actresses. Perhaps the most intriguing detail here comes from the "30-35 age range," which will likely also be applied to Reed Richards and Ben Grimm, with Johnny Storm perhaps having the potential to go younger.
Fantastic Four is set to hit theaters on February 14, 2025.