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Madame Web director explains why she kept the Marvel movie's references to Spider-Man vague

 Dakota Johnson as Cassie in Madame Web.
Dakota Johnson as Cassie in Madame Web.

Madame Web director S. J. Clarkson has explained why she kept the nods to Spider-Man deliberately vague in the recently released Sony Marvel movie.

Ahead of the film's home entertainment release, Clarkson explained to us how "important" it was to her "to make the story about Madame Web, and her character, with just little references to the fact that she was born in The Amazing Spider Man comics."

She continues: "She comes from that world, but she is her own character and that's what I think was really exciting was to explore the world of her and give her a voice. Give those other Spider-Women and Ezekiel voices within that world."

Spider-Man 4
Spider-Man 4

An origin story of sorts, Madame Web depicts the main character as a 30-something New Yorker rather than the blind, older woman she is in the comics, as it reinvents her beginnings and presents a new way in which she becomes the eponymous superhero. Starring Dakota Johnson, it centers on paramedic Cassie, who inexplicably finds herself with psychic abilities following a near-death experience.

While it makes fairly little difference to the story, Cassie's partner is Ben Parker (Adam Scott), whose sister Mary is expecting a baby... The tot is born at the very end of the movie, and is confirmed to be a boy, though no one officially calls him 'Peter'. (There have been rumors that reshoots were undertaken following the initial production to cut back on Spider-Man links).

Onboard a train one evening, Cassie sees a horrifying vision of a man murdering three young women and saves them all by intervening, subsequently thrusting the foursome into a dangerous game of cat and mouse with the would-be killer. Turns out, said man is Ezekiel Sims (Tahar Rahim), someone who Cassie's late mother had a dark history with.

Tahar Rahim as Ezekiel Sims in Madame Web
Tahar Rahim as Ezekiel Sims in Madame Web

The main crux of the story is that Ezekiel, plagued with certain snippets of the future, is hellbent on preventing the youngsters Cassie has sworn to protect from murdering him in the future. But in true superhero movie fashion, the baddie doesn't exactly come out on top...

"Madame Web has the power to change the future. I don't know whether I felt like, 'If only he was strong enough to resist...'," says Rahim, when we ask whether he thinks Ezekiel brought about his fate by meddling with events that had yet to happen. "Maybe he died... maybe... it's great to leave all that up to the audience," he adds before admitting that he'd love to reprise the role in any kind of follow-up.

Madame Web will be available to buy or rent from Saturday, March 30. If you've already seen it, or feel like you need a comic book fix before then, check out our list of upcoming superhero movies heading our way.