Madame Web: is this Spider-Man spinoff trailer deliberately terrible? | Stuart Heritage

Madame Web

Perhaps it's time to take another look at Sony's Spider-Man Universe. You probably already know that this universe came into existence through the agreement that Sony and Marvel made to bring Spider-Man back into the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Essentially, the agreement lets Marvel create Spider-Man movies for Sony while Sony can create Spider-Man films for themselves. However, none of Sony's Spider-Man movies are allowed to feature Spider-Man. Does that sound reasonable to you?

At first, when Sony announced their plan to build a cinematic universe using small roles and cameos, it may have seemed like a bad idea. They were not allowed to use the main characters that had made them popular. It looked like they were wasting their time. Movies like Venom, where a Spider-Man villain just wandered around aimlessly, seemed like the result of greed. Morbius was even worse- a movie about a villain nobody knew, struggling to prove its worth for over an hour. It was clear that this movie project was doomed.

However, my perspective has taken a turn as I have viewed the trailer for Madame Web - the newest addition in Sony's Spider-Man Universe. I now comprehend that the intention behind this creation is to be subpar, as it seems like the only rational reasoning for this project.

Madame Web features Dakota Johnson as Cassandra Webb, an ambulance worker who acquires the ability to see the future after being rescued from a river, and discovers terrifying visions of a villainous Spider-Man (not actually the real Spider-Man due to legal agreements, but a character in a similar suit) who relentlessly pursues her and the group of resilient female characters residing in a nearby forest.

It's not a problem though, since Cassandra is aware of the wicked Spider-Man's true identity. She found out while her mother was studying spiders in the Amazon before passing away, and he happened to be there with her. This is confirmed in a big Hollywood movie, written by a real person, where Cassandra specifically says "he was in the Amazon with my mom when she was researching spiders just before she died."

This line is a dead giveaway that Sony's plan for the Spider-Man Universe is to intentionally make it terrible. The internet has exploded with memes based on this one line. People are creating memes where this line is the final line of famous movies like Chinatown, or where Darth Vader says it to Luke Skywalker causing Luke to scream in despair. There are even memes of George W. Bush hearing this line on the day of 9/11. Dakota Johnson telling Ellen DeGeneres about the Amazon and her mom's spider research is also a popular meme.

The phrase "he was in the Amazon with my mom when she was researching spiders just before she died" doesn't really count as a proper sentence. It's more like a signal to the viewer that they should dislike Madame Web. Everything about the character was created specifically to generate hatred. The reason for this is that when people hate something, it becomes more obscure, and as it becomes more obscure, it develops a following of devoted fans. This seems to have been the plan all along.

Sony has a history of reacting swiftly when things don't go according to plan. For example, with the movie Venom, they took a poorly received film and turned it into a parody through its sequel, Venom: Let There Be Carnage, in 2021. They also responded to the negative attention received by Morbius by re-releasing it in cinemas, allowing viewers to collectively mock it.

Sony has come to the realization that all their Spider-Man universe films, except for the ones specifically about Spider-Man, are not good. This is a significant change for them, similar to Tommy Wiseau's declaration that his passion project, The Room, was meant to be a comedy, not a drama. It's unlikely that anyone will watch Madame Web with the expectation of it being a quality film. Rather, they might watch it with friends while intoxicated, just to have a laugh at its expense. Perhaps this type of ironic viewing may even make for a fun night out. It's possible that Sony knows what they're doing after all.

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