MADAME WEB Director Talks Rumors Of Scrapped 1990s Setting And Why There’s No Post-Credits Scene

It’s not often we see comic book fans and critics agree, but in the case of Madame Web, it seems everyone has reached the conclusion that it’s yet another crummy Marvel movie from Sony Pictures. 

Lead star Dakota Johnson recently revealed the version of Madame Web she signed up for differed greatly from the one seen in theaters this week. There have also been rumblings about reshoots shifting the action from the 1990s to the early 2000s after plans to make this a prequel to The Amazing Spider-Man were scrapped.

Talking to The Hollywood Reporter, director SJ Clarkson confirmed that 2003 was always the planned setting for Madame Web.

“Well, I was sent the script with 2003 in it, and like you, I remember someone saying to me, ‘Hey, 2003 is vintage.’ And I was like, ‘What do you mean? I remember 2003. I lived 2003. Does that make me vintage?’ So, apparently, yes, we are vintage, but it’s back in. We should run with it.”

Asked specifically about those ’90s rumours, the filmmaker added, “I don’t know, maybe, although some of [the needle drops] are on the edge of 2003. So I think it’s about the mix. When you look at making something in a specific year, I always think it’s dangerous to just have all the music, costumes and cars that came out that year. If you look out there now, not everybody is driving something from 2024 or wearing the latest fashion.”

“I know my wardrobe is dated in parts. It’s now vintage. So I was looking to get this timeless quality to the film across the board to where you weren’t sure when it was,” she continued. “For example, Cassie’s jacket. We found that at the last minute, and it was actually based on a vintage 1970s jacket, which felt really cool. [1973] is where the movie starts, and it’s the story that connects to Cassie’s mother.”

“I have to give all credit and props to our tailoring department, who turned that vintage red jacket around overnight. So it was nice to get a timeless feel to it.”

Is it us, or did she just dodge the question? There must have been a specific reason for Madame Web being set in 2003 and the most obvious is that original plans called for the baby Peter Parker born in this movie to grow up and become Tom Holland’s Spider-Man. However, the math doesn’t work, something Sony likely didn’t figure out until it was too late. 

Clarkson was also asked about the decision for Madame Web to not include a post-credits scene. 

“It was about telling a great story,” she explains. “My father always used to say, ‘If you have to say something, stand up, speak up and then shut up.’ So when I got to the end credits, I felt that we’d said everything we needed to say in the film. It’s up to whatever is next to take on the button.”

Madame Web is now playing in theaters. Check out our interview with Clarkson in the player below.