Madame Web | Dakota Johnson talks of “drastic changes” to the script

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As Madame Web arrives in cinemas, Dakota Johnson admits that the film she signed up to changed rather a lot.

The first superhero movie of 2024 looks to be landing with something of a thud, given the first reviews that have popped up for Spider-Man sort-of spin-off Madame Web. I’ve not seen the film, so can’t comment personally, and so the reports thus far of a disappointment may be ones I disagree with. What does seem quite clear though is that the production was a little on the tricky site.

Made for – by modern standards – a modest $80m, the film stars Dakota Johnson, and is directed by S J Clarkson. There appears to have been knives out for the movie over the last year, with stories of reshoots taking place, as if reshoots themselves were a bad thing.

Dakota Johnson though may have lit the fire a little with an interview she’s given to The Wrap, where she’s opened up about how the film differed from the one she thought she was getting into.

“There were drastic changes, and I can’t even tell you what they were”, she admitted when chatting about how the script altered from the original she was shown. It’s important to note that The Wrap reports she said this with a laugh, and so it wasn’t intended, by the sounds of things, any kind of attack.

Johnson also praised S J Clarkson for her work in keeping her on track when it became confusing as to just what they were shooting. This is related to the fact that Johnson’s character required the filming on the same scene multiple ways – “like triple the amount of work” – and Clarkson “always knew exactly where we were, which was really incredible”.

I’ve seen this interview being reported in a very negative light, but having gone through it at its source, that’s not the tone that comes across. It does confirm sizeable-sounding changes to the script, though.

Madame Web is in cinemas from today. No UK press screening, sadly, but we’re going to try and catch up over the next day or two…

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