Sydney Sweeney has recently been confirmed to play Julia Carpenter in the upcoming Madame Web movie. Dakota Johnson has been confirmed to be playing the lead Cassandra Webb, the original Madame Web.
The Euphoria actress was pretty tight-lipped about her upcoming role other than revealing she is playing Julia Carpenter. “I went straight to the comic store, and I bought every comic that mentioned my character,” she explained in a recent interview with Variety about landing the role.
Sweeney teased that the role is “different from what people expect a superhero movie to be.” She remained coy about her place in the Marvel Cinematic Universe and if she was set to return in any sequels.
Who Is Julia Carpenter?
Created in 1984 by Jim Shooter and Mike Zeck, Julia Carpenter first appeared in the Secret Wars #6 comic. She’s famous in Marvel Comics for being both the second incarnations of Spider-Woman and Madame Web.
She started her arc as a single mother before her life was changed when she signed up to take part in a scientific experiment. In this so-called “athletic” study she saw herself injected with a serum combining spider venom with exotic plant extracts.
It gave her all the powers of Peter Parker’s Spider-Man, including super agility, strength, and reflexes. She has special psionic webbing that makes Carpenter stand out from her Spider-Peers. Julia Carpenter’s webbing is a construct of her mind and can hold several tons before disappearing after an hour.
Julia Carpenter took over from Jessica Drew as Spider-Woman and took part in some pretty big Marvel Comic plotlines. She first starts the Secret War on the side of the villains, an all-powerful being known as the Beyonder. She soon joins the heroes’ side to fight the omnipotent power after meeting Spider-Man.
When the heroes and villains returned to Earth after Secret Wars, Julia joined the government-sanctioned mutant hunting team Freedom Force. This move essentially made her an X-Men villain. However, when Freedom Force clashed with the Avengers and X-Men, she joined the West Coast Avengers for the majority of the 1990s.
There was a phase when she lost her powers. After regaining them, Carpenter rechristened herself Arachne and found herself in Civil War. She will take on this role until she ascends to becoming Madame Web herself.
Julia became Madame Web when the original is killed by Ana Kraven, the daughter of Kraven the Hunter. During the Grim Hunt arc, Julia loses her sight but gains telepathy, clairvoyance, precognition, and a better command of her psionic sensibilities. Madame Web’s powers were passed on through the “Great Web,” which connects all the Spider-heroes across the entire Multiverse.
Kraven the Hunter is set to make his big-screen debut next summer, being played by Aaron Taylor Johnson. After these events, Julia takes Madame Web’s place as a seer and organizer within the Spider-Verse.
Julia Carpenter’s Previous On-Screen Appearances
While 2024’s Madame Web is the character’s first live-action appearance, Julia has made a number of animated appearances. She appears in both the 1990s Iron Man series and Disney’s Ultimate Spider-Man.
Carpenter can be seen in the background of Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse as a member of Miguel O’Hara’s Spider Society. She also has minor roles in the Marvel Ultimate Alliance, Marvel Heroes, and Spider-Man Unlimited videogames.
Madame Web is currently scheduled to swing into theaters on February 16, 2024. Sweeney will be joined by Dakota Johnson, Emma Roberts, Isabela Merced, Zosia Mamet, Adam Scott, and Celeste O’Connor.
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