In 2018, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse not only broke the mold in terms of animation and comic book films but also in terms of the Multiverse. Fast-forward to 2021, Sony and Marvel Studios' Spider-Man: No Way Home united cinema's three live-action Spideys in a single film, shattering box office records and leading to fan demand for the continuation of both Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield's sagas.
With Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse - Part 1 coming to theaters later this year, coupled with the acclaim for all three Spider-Men in No Way Home, the answer to how Sony can connect their multiple web-slinging projects appears to be Madame Web.
With S.J. Clarkson set to direct, and Dakota Johnson recently confirmed as the film's leading choice, it would seem that the Multiversal, telepathic comic book character's Web of Life and Destiny may be the canon explanation for all of cinema's Spideys and their potential respective films.
However, thanks to Madame Web's potential star, Dakota Johnson, it looks like this upcoming film won't be Sony's alone.
Is Madame Web Marvel Studios' Next Spin-off?
To celebrate having been tapped to portray Madame Web, Dakota Johnson posted an image of the Deadline piece confirming the news on Instagram. However, who she tagged in her post may be just as newsworthy.
In addition to tagging Sony Pictures, Johnson also tagged Marvel Studios in her social media post, implying that the comic book studio will also be involved in the film, just as they were in Tom Holland's Spider-Man trilogy.
Even though Spider-Man is one of Marvel's most popular characters, he's also one of the most difficult when it comes to producing a film.
This is due to the fact that Sony Pictures owns the film rights for Spider-Man; it's also why both studios have worked together on Tom Holland's Spider-Man films, even though his trilogy is set within the MCU.
The fact that Marvel Studios may be involved with Madame Web is surprising since Sony has seemingly been building their own cinematic Spider-Man Universe - separate from the MCU - through films like Venom and Morbius.
However, Marvel Studios' potential involvement implies the working relationship between the two studios is strong and that Madame Web may be the MCU's next Spider-Man spin-off.
Madame Web Will Be an MCU Character?
Since Madame Web is a Marvel character but not owned by Marvel Studios, it's possible that Dakota Johnson's tag was a mistake and that his new project is Sony's alone.
On the other hand, if both studios are working together on the film, it's safe to say that Sony is interested in keeping their characters - both old and new - connected to the MCU. Plus, Madame Web's ability to transport Spideys across the Multiverse and the Web of Life and Destiny would allow these multi-studio crossovers to make sense from a story perspective.
At the same time, Marvel Studios' involvement with Madame Web would likely allow Johnson's character to cameo in MCU films, similar to how Doctor Strange appeared in Sony's No Way Home.
Due to No Way Home-mania and its impressive box office receipts, fans shouldn't have to wait too long to find out, as new Spider-Man-related projects are sure to be greenlit.
In the meantime, Across the Spider-Verse may be evidence of Sony and Marvel's continued relationship, especially since Spider-Verse duo Chris Miller and Phil Lord have teased their animated universe's ties to the live-action MCU.