It may be necessary to reevaluate Sony’s Spider-Man Universe. This universe was created through a deal between Sony and Marvel to reintroduce Spider-Man into the MCU. Essentially, Marvel has the rights to produce Spider-Man movies for Sony, while Sony has the rights to produce Spider-Man movies for themselves, but none of Sony’s Spider-Man films can feature Spider-Man. Is this clear?
Initially, it may have seemed as though Sony had made a poor deal. Creating a cinematic universe centered around minor roles and guest appearances, while being legally prohibited from utilizing the gravity that made them intriguing, appeared to be a foolish endeavor. Viewing something like Venom (where a major foe of Spider-Man aimlessly roamed around without a purpose) felt like the inevitable outcome of capitalism. Similarly, watching Morbius (where a lesser-known foe of Spider-Man struggled to justify their existence for 90 minutes) felt like witnessing capitalism self-destruct in a fiery crash. It was clear that no positive outcome could arise from this ill-fated project.
I have reconsidered my opinion after watching the trailer for Madame Web, the newest addition to Sony’s Spider-Man franchise. I now understand that the intention of the film is to be intentionally bad. This is the only logical explanation for the choices made in its production.
Dakota Johnson portrays Cassandra Webb, a paramedic who acquires the ability of clairvoyance after falling into a river. She begins to have visions of a malevolent Spider-Man (not affiliated with the official character) who relentlessly targets her and the group of Strong Female Characters she encounters in the forest.
However, the situation is not a cause for concern as Cassandra possesses knowledge of the wicked Spider-Man’s true persona. This is due to the fact that she was with her mother in the Amazon while conducting research on spiders shortly before her mother’s passing. This information is confirmed as Cassandra explicitly states, “he was in the Amazon with my mom when she was researching spiders just before she died,” which can be found as an authentic dialogue in a high-budget Hollywood film written by an individual.
This particular line serves as a major clue to the hidden agenda of intentionally producing a poorly executed Sony Spider-Man Universe. The sheer amount of memes spawned by this line is enough to power entire cities. There are memes depicting this line as the final statement in the movie Chinatown, or even as Darth Vader’s devastating revelation to Luke Skywalker. The line has also been incorporated into various memes, such as former president George W. Bush hearing it on September 11th, and actress Dakota Johnson sharing it with Ellen DeGeneres.
The statement “he accompanied my mother on her spider research trip in the Amazon before her death” is hardly worthy of being considered a line. It’s a clear hint to the audience that Madame Web is meant to be disliked. The entire concept was carefully crafted with the sole purpose of eliciting hatred. This is because from hatred, a sense of mystery arises. And from mystery, fondness can develop. And from fondness, a devoted fan base can emerge. It seems this was the ultimate objective.
Sony has a history of adapting quickly. This can be seen in their response to the success of Venom, where they turned a poorly-made movie into a sequel – 2021’s Venom: Let There Be Carnage – that satirized the original. They also responded to the negative reception of Morbius by recognizing the criticism it was receiving online and re-releasing it in theaters so that viewers could openly mock it together.
Sony has come to the realization that all of its non-Spider-Man Spider-Man movies are not well-received by audiences. This realization can be compared to Tommy Wiseau’s admission that his passion project, The Room, was actually meant to be a comedy. Now, no one expects Madame Web to be a good movie and people will likely only see it as a joke. They may even go see it with friends while intoxicated, just to mock it. But who knows, it may turn out to be a surprisingly enjoyable experience. Perhaps Sony is intentionally creating this buzz around the movie.