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‘Madame Web:’ What to Know About Filming the Superhero Movie in Boston

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Is Sony creating its own version of ‘The Avengers’ here in Boston?

Emma Roberts, Dakota Johnson and Sydney Sweeney will star in Sony’s superhero film “Madame Web,” which will begin filming in the Boston area on July 11. Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images; Andy Kropa/Invision/AP; Amy Sussman/Getty Images

Over the past month, Boston has been the epicenter of comic book fans’ attention thanks to filming for the upcoming Sony-Marvel movie “Madame Web.”

After getting a small taste of superhero movies last summer when Marvel crews spent a week filming ‘Black Panther: Wakanda Forever’ in Massachusetts, Sony’s ‘Madame Web’ has become the first superhero film to base primary production in the Bay State. Crews began filming in downtown Boston on July 11, transforming part of the financial district into early 2000s New York.

Two taxis used for the filming of the next Sony-Marvel movie
Two taxis used for filming the upcoming Sony-Marvel movie ‘Madame Web’, which is filming in the Boston area through September.

In the comics, Madame Web is depicted in several different ways. But all versions of her are a blind woman who has powers similar to Spider-Man as well as psychic powers that go beyond Peter Parker’s “Spidey Sense.”

“Madame Web” is part of Sony’s Spider-Man Universe, which works in conjunction with the Marvel Cinematic Universe and features films like “Venom,” “Morbius” and the upcoming “Kraven the Hunter.” The recent “Spider-Man” trilogy starring Tom Holland as the web-slinger was a collaboration between Sony and Marvel Studios, while the other films are handled exclusively by Sony.

If online fan excitement is any indication, Sony will have a hit on its hands when “Madame Web” hits theaters on October 6, 2023. But despite hundreds of fan theories about the cast, plot and a more Much of the Marvel-Sony Spiderverse, there’s still plenty in the movie that’s shrouded in mystery.

Here’s everything we know about “Madame Web” right now, including filming locations, cast members, and fan rumors that may or may not hold water.

Who plays in Madame Web?

The cast of “Madame Web” is filled with experienced and up-and-coming talent. It’s headlined by “Fifty Shades of Gray” star Dakota Johnson in the lead role.

Also in attendance are two of TV’s hottest stars right now in Adam Scott (“Severance”) and Sydney Sweeney (“Euphoria,” “The White Lotus”). Both stars were nominated for two Primetime Emmys this summer for their work on the aforementioned shows.

Rounding out the cast are Emma Roberts (“We’re The Millers”), Celeste O’Connor (“Ghostbusters: Afterlife”), Isabela Merced (“Transformers: The Last Knight”), Mike Epps (“The Hangover”), Zosia Mamet (“The Girls”) and Tahar Rahim (“The Mauritanian”).

Where is the filming of “Madame Web”?

So far, filming for “Madame Web” has remained close to the Boston area. During the first week of production, crews traveled to the Financial District to create a setting resembling New York’s Chinatown circa 2003.

Later in July, crews direction Allstonwhere crews transformed the area around Kelton Street into early 2000s New York City.

In August, paparazzi captured the first real action shoot in Chelsea, where Johnson and Scott (dressed as paramedics) got in and out of an overturned sedan dangling dangerously from a bridge.

The teams also worked hard in Andover, building a setting resembling the 4-Star Diner, a restaurant that appeared frequently in the “Spider-Man” comics.

Crews are also expected to visit Weymouth and film at The Hangout, a 33,000 square foot former fighter jet hangar that once housed South Weymouth Naval Air Station, per The Registry of Patriots.

The production of “Madame Web”, which began on July 11, is expected to last three months, according to a source close to the production.

What are the rumors and fan theories about “Madame Web”?

Any superhero movie in production is bound to fuel hundreds of fan theories, ranging from semi-believable to ridiculous wishful thinking.

Even the smallest nuggets of information in the set can send fandoms into overdrive. During the first week of production, Boston.com released set photos that revealed “Madame Web” would be set in the early 2000s. In the days and weeks that followed, hundreds of Twitter accounts and Many nerd culture publications aggregated the photos, speculating it was a sign that Sony would connect “Madame Web” to the original Sam Raimi film “Spider-Man” starring Tobey Maguire which was released in 2002.

All of which is to say that what we round up below is in no way verified by sources on set, unless otherwise stated.

The most persistent guessing game among fans is about which actors play which superheroes. On-set photos of Dakota Johnson in a red trench coat led fans to speculate that she would be playing Julia Carpenter, a younger version of Madame Web introduced by Marvel in 1984 with the same trademark look. Others, however, thought it would be Sydney Sweeney playing young Madame Web, while Johnson would play Cassandra Webb, the first Madame Web introduced in 1980.

Other rumored (but entirely unconfirmed) castings included Emma Roberts playing Mary Parker (Peter Parker’s mother), Isabela Merced playing Anya Corazon (Spider-Girl), Celeste O’Connor playing Mattie Franklin (Spider-Woman), and Adam Scott playing Ben Parker (Peter Parker’s uncle).

The long list of arachnid superheroes above fuels the other rumor of the moment among Spider-Man fans, which concerns the plot of the film. While this “plot leak” may turn out to be a load of malarkey, if you’re concerned about spoilers, stop reading here.

The rumored plot synopsis involves the film’s heroes protecting a pregnant Mary Parker from an unnamed villain who hopes to prevent the birth of Spider-Man (aka Peter Parker). As fans noted, the rumored plot somewhat resembles “The Terminator,” in which a soldier travels through time to protect a woman and her unborn child (a future resistance leader) from the cyborg. by Arnold Schwarzenegger.

While there’s no indication that this supposed plotline is true, fans have noted that Roberts’ character (who is rumored to be playing Parker) appears to be pregnant in the photos taken.

There are also hints that a newborn could play a role in “Madame Web.” Two Boston-based casting agencies issued the same casting notice for the newborns to appear in a “major” feature film, with filming set for August 29 or September 10.

One of the agencies, Kendall Cooper Casting, has so far handled all extra castings for “Madame Web.” And at the moment, “Madame Web” is the only major feature film being filmed in Boston. (The other big Massachusetts movie productions right now, “Invitation to a Bonfire” and “Julia,” are both TV shows.)

Again: Just because a major feature film shoot in Boston is looking for newborns doesn’t mean the aforementioned conspiracy rumor is true. But it’s fun to think about, isn’t it?

When will “Madame Web” be released?

“Madame Web” is set to hit theaters on October 6, 2023. The film was originally supposed to be released on July 6, 2023, but announced the date change from October to July.