VARIETY – Emma Roberts has been cast in “Madame Web,” the latest movie set in Sony’s Universe of Marvel Characters.
The actor is joining a star-studded ensemble, which includes Dakota Johnson as the title hero and “Euphoria” breakout Sydney Sweeney in an undisclosed role. As previously announced, Celeste O’Connor (“Ghostbusters: Afterlife”), Isabela Merced (“Dora and the Lost City of Gold”) and Tahar Rahim (“The Mauritanian”) are rounding out the call sheet.
“Madame Web” serves as an origin story for the comic book character, a clairvoyant whose psychic abilities allow her to see within the spider world itself. In the comics, her abilities prove to be greatly beneficial to Spider-Man and his fellow arachnid allies but given her condition she’s never battled villains herself.
S.J. Clarkson, whose Marvel bonafides include “Jessica Jones” and “The Defenders,” is directing “Madame Web.” Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless, who previously collaborated on Jared Leto’s vampire thriller “Morbius,” will write the screenplay. The film is scheduled to release in theaters on July 7, 2023.
“Madame Web” is Sony’s first modern comic book adaptation to feature a female in the headlining role. It is one of several Spider-Man related spinoffs in development, including director J.C. Chandor’s “Kraven the Hunter,” starring Aaron Taylor Johnson; and “El Muerto,” featuring the musician known as Bad Bunny.
In 2021, Sony fielded back-to-back commercial triumphs with Tom Hardy’s “Venom: Let There Be Carnage” ($506 million globally) and Tom Holland’s “Spider-Man: No Way Home” ($1.9 billion globally) but stumbled in 2022 with so-so turnout for Jared Leto’s “Morbius” ($163 million).
After breaking out on Nickelodeon’s sitcom “Unfabulous,” Roberts cultivated a film career in teen movies like “Aquamarine,” “Nancy Drew” and “Valentine’s Day.” She parlayed her young stardom into roles in “Scream 4,” “We’re the Millers,” and FX’s anthology series “American Horror Story.” She also starred in the Fox comedic horror show “Scream Queens.”