While the exact time we see Spider-Man next in the MCU may be unknown, we are getting Spider-Woman sooner than that, it seems. No, no, not in the MCU, of course, but in Sony’s increasingly bizarre Marvel sub-universe that started with Venom, added the meme-tastic Morbius, and now has a bunch of oddball projects on the horizon, so far none of which seem to involve Spider-Man himself.

In a Variety cover story, Euphoria actress Sydney Sweeney confirmed that her role in the upcoming Madame Web, out February 16, 2024, barring any delays, is in fact Julia Carpenter. Carpenter is a character that goes on to become Spider-Woman in the comics, albeit the second Spider-Woman, as the first and more commonly known one being Jessica Drew. Why is she Carpenter and not Jessica Drew? I suppose only she and Sony know.

While many speculated she would play this role, the Variety piece is the first time it’s been printed as an outright fact. Sweeney joins Dakota Johnson’s Madame Web and Isabela Merced’s Anya Corazon, known as Spider-Girl in the comics. So they’re going through the full roster. Interestingly, Corazon actress Merced (previously known as live-action Dora the Explorer), has just joined James Gunn’s DCU as Hawkgirl in Superman Legacy.

As for Sweeney, she’s a big enough star these days where it seems likely that Sony is probably going to angle for a solo Spider-Woman film for her after this, though she’s only “smiling knowingly” when asked the question, according to the interview. But she was excited to get the part, and has been studying comics for it:

“I was freaking out, of course,” Sweeney said. “I went straight to the comic store, and I bought every comic that mentioned my character.”



When Sweeney was first cast in the film, everyone wondered why Sony wouldn’t have her play the much more high-profile Black Cat, Felicia Hardy, but I’m guessing since her main storylines involve her relationship to Spider-Man, that may not work in a universe that as of yet, has no Spider-Man, which is getting weirder and weirder as time goes on.

There are several of these Spider-adjacent projects in the works from Sony, though obviously scheduling is in flux due to the strikes going on. There’s a Kraven the Hunter movie with Aaron Taylor-Johnson, which has already been delayed. Global music superstar Bad Bunny is supposed to be playing El Muerto, a deeply obscure Spider-Man character in a standalone movie, but that was recently pulled from Sony’s schedule and its fate remains unclear. Venom 3 is supposed to…exist.

It’s just a very strange project. Sony is sharing actual Spider-Man rights with Disney, so they have to make do with these sub-characters for now. I remember hearing rumors they’d recruit someone like Andrew Garfield to go back to playing Peter Parker in this universe, but nothing has come of that.

As for Sweeney, I’m sure she could be fine as Spider-Woman, but I don’t have tons of faith in these projects as a whole. Venom 1 was goofy fun, Venom 2 less so, and Morbius was obviously awful. I have no idea how jamming all these varied spider-characters in Madame Web will go, but I guess we’ll see, eventually.

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Pick up my sci-fi novels the Herokiller series and The Earthborn Trilogy.

 Euphoria actress Sydney Sweeney confirmed that her role in the upcoming Madame Web, out February 16, 2024, barring any delays, is in fact Julia Carpenter.  Read More