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Madame Web: Dakota Johnson Says The Script Had "Drastic Changes"

Madame Web star Dakota Johnson says the script she signed on did not end up on screen, saying there were "drastic changes."

Article Summary

  • Dakota Johnson reveals drastic script changes for Madame Web.
  • Significant rewrites raised questions about the film's final form.
  • Johnson faced a confusing shoot due to clairvoyance theme complexity.
  • Madame Web's troubled production hints at a challenging release ahead.

The review embargo for Madame Web came down today, and let's just say it's strike one for Sony Pictures in terms of their live-action Marvel films in 2024. However, things have been looking pretty rough for this film since the trailer initially dropped, and as the weekend numbers start to come in and more information starts to come out, we can start to dissect exactly what happened to make this go so wrong. People have been wondering what exactly made someone like Dakota Johnson sign on to something like this, and it turns out that this is yet another time when there were significant rewrites. Johnson spoke to The Wrap and explained that the script she signed on with is far from the one that ended up on screen, saying, "There were drastic changes, and I can't even tell you what they were."

Madame Web: Dakota Johnson Says The Script Had "Drastic Changes"
Director SJ Clarkson, Celeste O'Connor, Sydney Sweeney, Isabela Merced and Dakota Johnson on the set of Columbia Pictures' MADAME WEB. Photo By: Jessica Kourkounis © 2024 CTMG, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

Nothing like a good bait and switch, and it sounds like that is what happened here. The script going through so many changes isn't helped by the fact that this film is about someone who can see the future, and thus, things were shot multiple times in multiple different ways. Johnson has explained before how this was confusing, but she elaborated on this to The Wrap.

"It added so many different camera setups, like triple the amount of work," she explained. "And it was very complex, and there's only like minor differences between each version of the same scene, so it was like puzzle pieces, and really paying attention to what moment we're in, and what angle we're in, and continuity and things like that."

So Madame Web is already a film with a script that was hacked to pieces and then put back together again, combined with the already confusing setup that comes from doing a movie about clairvoyance. There really wasn't any way for anyone to win. Aside from Johnson's stylist during this disaster of a press tour–they've been right on the money.

Madame Web: Summary, Cast List, Release Date

"Meanwhile, in another universe…" In a switch from the typical genre, Madame Web tells the standalone origin story of one of Marvel publishing's most enigmatic heroines. The suspense-driven thriller stars Dakota Johnson as Cassandra Webb, a paramedic in Manhattan who may have clairvoyant abilities. Forced to confront revelations about her past, she forges a relationship with three young women destined for powerful futures…if they can all survive a deadly present.

Madame Web, directed by SJ Clarkson, stars Dakota Johnson, Sydney Sweeney, Celeste O'Connor, Isabela Merced, Tahar Rahim, Mike Epps, Emma Roberts, and Adam Scott. It will be released on February 14, 2024.

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Kaitlyn BoothAbout Kaitlyn Booth

Kaitlyn is the Editor-in-Chief at Bleeding Cool. Film critic and pop culture writer since 2013. Ace. Leftist. Nerd. Feminist. Writer. Replicant Translator. Cinephillic Virtue Signaler. She/Her. UFCA/GALECA Member. 🍅 Approved. Follow her Threads, Instagram, and Twitter @katiesmovies.
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