Spider-Man may have been absent from Marvel Studios' San Diego Comic-Con panel, but over at his home studio of Sony Pictures, the web-slinger's live-action universe is ever-expanding. In addition to Sony's Venom franchise and Morbius, the studio is also working on Kraven, El Muerto, and Madame Web, with the latter Spider-Man spin-off generating considerable interest amongst fans.
In the comics, the title of "Madame Web" has belonged to several individuals with clairvoyant and precognitive powers, as well as ties to the Web of Life and Destiny. This Multiverse model allows for travel from one universe to another while also serving as a source of spider powers.
Given the events of Spider-Man: No Way Home and Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, Madame Web is expected to be pivotal to Sony's Multiversal narrative and possibly influential for Marvel Studios' agenda as well. However, fans know little to nothing about the film's plot and which characters will appear. That is, until now.
Madame Web Casts Spider-Man's New Uncle Ben
In addition to Madame Web's Multiversal potential, the upcoming Sony film for its Spider-Man Universe has kept fans guessing with its cast and their unconfirmed roles.
Madame Web stars Dakota Johnson, Sydney Sweeney, Emma Roberts, and Adam Scott who, at one point, fans speculated was playing a Variant of Peter Parker. While on-set photos seemed to disprove those theories, it now appears that fans weren't too far off.
According to The Cosmic Circus, Adam Scott isn't Peter Parker. Instead, he's been cast to play Peter's Uncle Ben Parker.
Previously, Uncle Ben has been played on screen by Cliff Robertson in Sam Raimi's Spider-Man trilogy and Martin Sheen in The Amazing Spider-Man.
In Spider-Man lore, Ben Parker is essential to Peter Parker's Spider-Man origin story. Not only do the conditions of his uncle's death motivate the hero, but Ben's iconic words of "with great power comes great responsibility" come serve as Spidey's moral code.
With Great Power Comes... More Spider-Men?
In addition to talk that Adam Scott is playing Ben Parker, it has also been rumored that Emma Roberts is expected to play Peter Parker's mother, Mary Parker.
And, due to on-set photos that show the actress is playing someone who's pregnant, it's possible that baby Peter Parker is on the way and could make his debut at some point in the film?
While introducing yet another Spidey is surprising given how many Peter Parkers - and other spider-powered heroes - there are already, a young Ben Parker is an intriguing prospect for web-slinging fans.
Since audiences had seen the Uncle Ben version of Spider-Man's origin story twice on the big screen, Marvel Studios chose to skip the Ben Parker chapter of Peter's life in the MCU, opting to give the famous "with great power" speech to Aunt May in No Way Home.
While it appears that yet another Ben Parker is Sony is going "back to formula," a young take on the character is actually a fresh, new way to introduce this influential character and tell this story.
After all, Peter Parker, as well as Spider-Man, wouldn't be who he is without his Uncle Ben. It will be interesting to see him at a different stage in life, as well as who or what shaped him into the father figure he will become.
Despite Sony's disappointing track record with its Spider-Man Universe thus far, Madame Web appears to be taking some big swings and has some fascinating plot points in the works. The question is whether the film will elevate those Spider-Man stories that have come before or continue to frustrate its fans.
Madame Web is expected to release in theaters on October 6, 2023.