‘Madame Web:’ Fun Facts About Superhero Movie Filming in Boston

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Is Sony making its own version of The Avengers here in Boston?

Emma Roberts, Dakota Johnson and Sydney Sweeney will star in Sony's superhero film "Mrs Net," filming begins July 11 in the Boston area.

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

For the past month, Boston has been at the epicenter of comic book fans’ attention thanks to the filming of upcoming Sony Marvel movie Madame Web.

After getting a little taste of superhero movies last summer when Marvel crews spent a week filming Black Panther: Wakanda Forever in Massachusetts, Sony’s Madame Web became the first superhero movie to have 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 City.

Two cabs used for filming the upcoming Sony Marvel movie
Two cabs will be used for filming of the upcoming Sony Marvel movie Madame Web, which will shoot in the Boston area through September.

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

Madame Web is part of Sony’s Spider-Man universe, which runs in conjunction with the Marvel Cinematic Universe and includes films such as 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 exclusively managed by Sony.

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

Here’s everything we currently know about “Madame Web,” including filming locations, cast members, and fan rumors that may or may not be true.

Who is in Madame Web?

The cast of “Madame Web” is full of experienced and upcoming talent. It will be directed by Fifty Shades star Dakota Johnson in the title role.

With Adam Scott (“Severance”) and Sydney Sweeney (“Euphoria”, “The White Lotus”), two of the hottest TV stars of the moment are also taking part. Both stars were nominated for two Primetime Emmys this summer for their work on the aforementioned shows.

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

Where is Madame Web filmed?

So far, the filming of “Madame Web” has remained near Boston. During the first week of production, crews headed to the Financial District to create a set resembling New York City’s Chinatown circa 2003.

Later in July, crews on the way to Allstonwhere crews transformed the Kelton Street area into early 2000s New York City.

In August, paparazzi captured the first real action set piece in Chelsea, where Johnson and Scott (dressed as paramedics) got in and out of an overturned limousine that was hanging dangerously off a bridge.

The crews also worked hard in Andover, building a set resembling the 4-Star Diner, a restaurant that appears 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 formerly housed the South Weymouth Naval Air Station That Patriot Ledger.

Production of “Madame Web,” which began July 11, is set to last three months, according to a source familiar with the production.

What are some of 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 pieces of information from the set can get fandoms into overdrive. During the first week of production, Boston.com released set photos showing that “Madame Web” would be set in the early 2000s. In the days and weeks that followed, hundreds of Twitter accounts and nerd culture publications amassed the photos, speculating that it was a sign that Sony was merging Madame Web with the original Sam Raimi Spider-Man movie starring Tobey Maguire was released in 2002.

All of this is a long way of saying that what we summarize below has not been confirmed in any way by any sources on set, unless otherwise noted.

The most persistent guesswork among fans is which actors will play which superheroes. On-set photos of Dakota Johnson in a red trench coat led fans to speculate that she would play Julia Carpenter, a younger version of Madame Web introduced by Marvel in 1984 with the same trademark look. However, others believed that Sydney Sweeney would play the younger Madame Web, while Johnson would play Cassandra Webb, the original Madame Web introduced in 1980.

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

The long list of arachnid superheroes above feeds into the other rumor of the moment among Spider-Man fans involving the film’s plot. While this “plot leak” may turn out to be a lot of Malarkey, stop reading here if you’re worried about spoilers at all.

The rumored plot synopsis involves the film’s heroes protecting a pregnant Mary Parker from an unnamed villain hoping to prevent Spider-Man (aka Peter Parker) from ever being born. As noted by fans, the plot rumor sounds a bit like “The Terminator,” in which a soldier travels back in time to protect a woman and her unborn child (a future leader of the Resistance) from Arnold Schwarzeneger’s cyborg.

While there’s no indication that this alleged conspiracy is true, fans have noticed that Roberts’ character (who reportedly plays Parker) appears to be pregnant in set photos.

There is also evidence that a newborn baby could play a role in Madame Web. Two different Boston-based casting agencies have released the same casting notice for newborns to appear in a “major” feature film, with filming set to take place on either August 29 or September 10.

One of the agencies, Kendall Cooper Casting, has been handling the extras casting for Madame Web so far. And right now, Madame Web is the only major feature film being shot in Boston. (The other big movies in Massachusetts right now, Invitation to a Bonfire and Julia, are both TV shows.)

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

When is Madame Web coming out?

Madame Web is slated to hit theaters on October 6, 2023. The film was originally scheduled to be released on July 6, 2023 but announced the October date change in July.

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