Sony continues to expand its spider web. Isabela Merced has officially joined the cast of Madame Web in an undisclosed role, joining the previously announced Dakota Johnson, Sydney Sweeney, and Celeste O’Connor in the upcoming blockbuster. The film is set to be directed by S.J. Clarkson, and is aiming for a release on July 7, 2023. Matt Sazama and Burk Sharpless have written the script, after a previous attempt from Kerem Sanga.
This is the third major comic book project Merced has had her name attached to. The actress, best known for her role as Dora the Explorer in 2019’s Dora and the Lost City of Gold, was a finalist for the role of Ratcatcher II in James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad and contended for a part in Marvel Studios’ Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Her credits also include roles in Transformers: The Last Knight and Sicario: Day of the Soldado, as well as a leading part in the forthcoming novel adaptation Turtles All the Way Down. While the nature of her involvement in Madame Web is still unknown, it seems like this is only the next step in a promising young career for Merced.
The plot of Madame Web is also being kept under wraps, though the character has been described as the closest thing Sony has to Marvel’s Doctor Strange. Traditionally an elderly woman confined to a chair, Web is usually more of a psychic character than a physical one. Although, there have been a few iterations of the spider-themed mentor in the comics. This includes one named Julia Carpenter, who is younger and was once a Spider-Woman. These traits may be closer to what ends up in the final film, if the casting of Johnson is any sort of indicator.