Sources say that Sony is developing the first female-centric movie from Sony's catalog of Marvel characters centered around the Spider-Man universe, with veteran TV director, S.J. Clarkson, attached. Sony did not comment when approached for confirmationn. And there is not, as yet, a writer on board to work on the screenplay. There are also no stars attached.

Sources report that the studio is looking for an A-lister to join the project, first, before picking-up a writer to develop the film around that star. Possible stars that may be sought include Charlize Theron and Amy Adams. S.J. Clarkson is no stranger to Marvel, having dircted episodes of Jessica Jones and The Defenders for Netflix.

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There is speculation that the character for the project may be Madame Web (aka Cassandra Webb, the grandmother of the fourth Spider-Woman, Charlotte Witter), based on the comic-book character of the same name. In the comic series, Madame Web is an elderly woman connected to a life support system that visibly resembles a spider web.

As a result of her age and condition, requiring life support, she never fought any villains, but she was a clairvoyant and precognitive mutant that first appeared to help Spider-Man locate a kidnap victim. The original Madame Web was ultimately killed in a storyline that saw her pass her powers of precognition and her blindness to Julia Carpenter, who became the second Madam Web.

Cassandra Webb is a paralyzed, blind, telepathic clairvoyant and precognitive mutant. She was stricken with a disease known as myasthenia gravis, for which she required constant connection to a life support system that was designed by her husband, Jonathan Webb, and resembled a spider web. She was approached by Spider-Man to help find Daily Globe publisher K.J. Clayton, who had been kidnapped and she used her powers to help him locate both Clayton and an imposter.

As is frequently the case in comics, a complex series of storylines bounce through timelines and iterations of the character, including the character's eventual immortality and cure of her disease as well has her death and passing-on her powers. Based on the Decimation and House of M storylines, which see the character off the life support systems, albeit spanning apparently widely different ages, it would be quite fitting to see Charlize Theron or Amy Adams in the role. There are several iterations and storylines that intersect Spider-Man and S.H.I.E.L.D., however, so there are ultimately too many directions the studio could move the character and story in to really draw any firm conclusions.

If the story proves to be accurate, Sony could be looking to bolster its fortunes off the back of the partnership with Marvel on the most recent Spider-Man projects, hoping to build out a library on further Marvel character intellectual property that the studio still controls. This is certain to be a developing story that Marvel fans will be anxiously awaiting more information on. This story was first reported by Variety.

Justin Case