Dakota Johnson's Hard Job Of Topping 'Spider-Man: The Animated Series' Madame Web

Before Dakota Johnson, there was Stan Lee's wife: Joan Lee.
Dakota Johnson's Hard Job Of Topping 'Spider-Man: The Animated Series' Madame Web

Continuing their series of Spider-Man-based film content that in no way involves the presence of Spider-Man, Sony officially announced that they're making a movie about Madame Web, the elderly, blind, paralyzed mutant with psychic powers. Who did Hollywood tap to play this mystical senior? Dakota Johnson, naturally. 

We're guessing that rather than slap Johnson in Mrs. Doubtfire-esque prosthetics, they'll probably tinker with the depiction of the character. This may be disappointing for some fans, but the thing is, we already got a killer onscreen version of Madame Web; it just came in a nearly 30-year-old Saturday morning cartoon.

We've talked before about how great the '90s Spider-Man animated series was, from its epic take on the alien symbiote arc to the time Peter Parker teamed up with a gang of interdimensional Spider-Men decades before Into the Spider-Verse. And much of the show's meta touches were enabled by the introduction of Madame Web, Peter's mysterious multiverse-bending ally and mentor.

Part of what made this take on Madame Web so effective was the vocal performance by the late Joan Lee, who just so happened to be Stan Lee's wife. According to the show's producer John Semper Jr., he had to battle his bosses to include the character in the show after Marvel's Avi Arad reportedly told him: "I can't make a toy out of an old broad." Once successful, Semper's only choice for the role was Lee, knowing that she could capture the character's "haughty, almost arrogant attitude." 

Memorably, in the final episode, Madame Web brings Spidey to a dimension where he is, not unlike in our dimension, a completely fictional character. This also allows him to actually meet his co-creator Stan Lee in a touching scene that feels more like a Charlie Kaufman movie than a cartoon that existed purely to brainwash children into desiring Sunny D while their parents were busy sleeping in.

The scene also allowed Stan Lee's animated avatar to share the screen with his wife's, who he refers to as an "exotic lady." In any case, Dakota Johnson has big shoes to fill – and by shoes, we mean some kind of serpentine spandex onesie.

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Top Image: Amazon Studios, Marvel Animation


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