Booksmart director Olivia Wilde will direct a new movie set in the Marvel universe, Deadline reported Wednesday. Developed for Sony Pictures, the new film will focus on one of Marvel’s female superheroes. Sony hasn’t confirmed the movie’s subject, but Deadline believes it will showcase Spider-Woman. Wilde retweeted the Deadline article using a spider emoji, seemingly confirming the report.
While many female characters in the Marvel universe have played a version of Peter Parker’s Spider-Man — like Spider-Gwen in an alternate universe where the radioactive spider bites Gwen Stacy instead of Parker — Spider-Woman usually refers to Jessica Drew, a completely separate hero.
Spider-Woman was originally created out of a copyright concern — Stan Lee was worried that another comics publisher would try to profit off of Spider-Man’s popularity with a similarly named hero — but her series was an unexpected success. Her origin story has been through a lot of retcons and rewrites, including Hydra experimentation and alien DNA, but there’s one thing it has never included: a radioactive spider.
Jessica Drew is more of a secret agent and private investigator than dorky Peter Parker, but she does have some similar, spidery powers, like heightened reflexes, super strength, and wall-crawling — the usual set. She’s also got electricity blasts like Miles Morales, and the extra benefit of “pheromone powers” (basically, she can make people suggestible by smelling real nice).
And, although this isn’t exactly a superpower, in recent comics she has balanced being a kick-butt superhero with single parenthood of a wall-crawling baby boy. She’s also a longtime close friend of Carol Danvers.
Deadline reports that Katie Silberman will write Wilde’s new film, with Amy Pascal producing. Spider-Woman would be yet another Sony-developed Marvel movie in the Spider-Verse, with Morbius, Venom 2, the Into the Spider-Verse sequel, Silk, Black Cat, and more scheduled to arrive in the next few years.
2019’s Booksmart was Wilde’s first film in the director’s chair. She has numerous projects in the works right now, all presumably ahead of Spider-Woman.
Based on the current Sony/Marvel situation, it’s unclear if Spider-Woman would ever appear in the MCU.