After directing multiple episodes of Jessica Jones for Marvel Television, S.J. Clarkson has been tapped to develop a female-led comic book movie for Sony based on the studio’s universe of Marvel characters.
Variety broke the news, and while the trade admits it isn’t sure who this mysterious Marvel movie will be centered around, it claims that Madame Web is the most likely culprit. Last September, Collider exclusively reported that a Madame Web movie was in the works at Sony, however, my sources had Morbius scribes Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless writing the script. Today’s report from Variety says Clarkson’s untitled project doesn’t have a writer aboard yet, so it’s unclear whether the two projects are one and the same. In this case, Clarkson is expected to work with the studio to cast an A-list star before hiring a writer to tailor the script to that performer’s strengths.
Known as Cassandra Webb, Madame Web is usually depicted as an elderly, clairvoyant blind woman suffering from a chronic neuromuscular disease that makes it difficult to move and breathe, and as such, she’s connected to a life support system that looks like a spider web. Given her frail condition, she does not actively fight any villains.
Sony is reportedly eyeing Charlize Theron and Amy Adams for the lead role, though again, we don’t even know what that character will be at this point, so we’ll just have to wait and see. I’ve heard rumors of Sony developing a Spider-Woman movie about Jessica Drew, so it’s always possible that Clarkson could be bringing that character to the big screen.
The Sony Pictures Universe of Marvel Characters, or the SPUMC as the studio calls it, had been gearing up for a big year before the pandemic hit, forcing Sony to move the Jared Leto vampire movie Morbius and the Tom Hardy sequel Venom 2 to 2021. Of course, given those films and the studio’s rich Spider-Man history, that would mean that Clarkson’s project will be Sony’s first female-centric Marvel movie, which is pretty cool in its own right. Production remains a ways off, seeing as the industry is still trying to figure out how to shoot safely in the middle of the pandemic.
Clarkson has been directing television for nearly 20 years and got her first taste of superheroes with the NBC series Heroes. Since then, she has directed episodes of Jessica Jones and The Defenders for Netflix as well as Succession and Vinyl for HBO, for whom she also directed the Game of Thrones prequel pilot that was not picked up to series.
Clarkson had been poised to make her feature directorial debut with Star Trek 4 until Paramount shelved that project due to contract disputes with its core cast.