Dakota Johnson Reacts Frankly to ‘Madame Web’s’ Critical, Financial Failure


In a new interview with Bustle, Madame Web star Dakota Johnson gave her unvarnished opinion of the disastrously received Marvel-Sony entry into the Spider-Man Universe, which bombed historically in its opening weekend with both critics and audiences. It comes just a few days after Johnson’s co-star, Sydney Sweeney, made fun of the movie in her SNL monologue.

Johnson, who recently admitted she has no plans to see Madame Web, told the outlet she had been horrifically ill with pneumonia before the movie came out, just as she was embarking on the press tour.

“I was really, really sick and felt horrible. I looked horrible,” she recalled. “And then the movie came out and it was…,” Johnson trailed off, before saying of Madame Web’s critical drubbing: “Like, I can’t take any of it seriously at all. I dunno.”

She continued: “Unfortunately, I’m not surprised it’s gone down the way it has…Of course, it’s not nice to be a part of something that’s ripped to shreds, but I can’t say that I don’t understand.”

Johnson, who primarily occupies roles in lower-budget, character-driven movies, admitted she wanted to try something different by appearing in a superhero tentpole; but she now realizes that notion was misguided.

“It was definitely an experience for me,” she reflected. “I had never done anything like it before. I probably will never do anything like it again because I don’t make sense in that world. And I know that now.”

According to the actor, the project changed drastically from page to screen and eventually resembled little of the movie they intended to make. “Sometimes in this industry, you sign on to something, and it’s one thing and then as you’re making it, it becomes a completely different thing, and you’re like, ‘Wait, what?’ But it was a real learning experience,” Johnson reiterated.

“It’s so hard to get movies made, and in these big movies that get made…decisions are being made by committees, and art does not do well when it’s made by committee. Films are made by a filmmaker and a team of artists around them. You cannot make art based on numbers and algorithms.”

Johnson closed her remarks on Madame Web with a cogent observation about changing filmgoers of all stripes. “My feeling has been for a long time that audiences are extremely smart, and executives have started to believe that they’re not,” she said. “Audiences will always be able to sniff out bulls–t.”

Madame Web is currently in cinemas, but probably not for much longer.

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