Is Dakota Johnson the queen of the Valentine’s Day release date? For years, as the lead in the Fifty Shades franchise, she had that holiday on lock. But now she’s back at it with a different kind of blockbuster, which does appear to involve some latex, but probably no BDSM.
Today, Sony released the first trailer for Madame Web, Johnson’s venture into superhero fare, directed by S.J. Clarkson . Johnson plays Cassandra Webb, a New York paramedic who develops the ability to see the future and finds herself pursued by a villain named Ezekiel Sims (Tahar Rahim), who knew Cassandra’s mom—a one time spider researcher in the Amazon. Did you catch that? She’s a spider researcher.
Because, yes, of course, this is all connected to Spider-Man, and Sony’s extended Spider-Man universe, which also includes the Venom movies and the upcoming-but-delayed Kraven the Hunter, starring Aaron Taylor-Johnson. (No relation to Dakota, though he is married to Sam Taylor-Johnson, who directed the first Fifty Shades, so there is a connection.)
In this first look at Madame Web we see Johnson’s Cassandra team up with a group of girls that also includes one “Julia Carpenter,” portrayed by Sydney Sweeney wearing glasses. There is a brief glimpse of her in a Spider-Woman outfit– did you think they would cast Sydney Sweeney in this movie just to have her wear glasses the whole time?)
This trailer comes as we’re all reevaluating our relationship to superhero movies. The Marvels just debuted with an all-time low for Marvel at the box office, and excitement for the flicks seems to be generally fading. Perhaps Dakota can inject some life into the enterprise. We’ll find out on Valentine’s Day.