Spider-Woman Eyeing Michelle MacLaren To Direct: EXCLUSIVE

Spider-Woman has entered development at Sony, and the Spiderverse is looking to Michelle MacLaren as its potential director.

Spider-Woman has been a long-standing member of the Marvel Universe, but her complicated backstory has had her shift back and forth in prominence. Despite the fluctuations, there’s always been a question of whether the Marvel Cinematic Universe could ever bring her to the big screen.

As reported earlier by MCU Cosmic, it does appear that Spider-Woman will be coming to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. But the Illuminerdi can now confirm not only that there will be a film starring Jessica Drew, but also know who Sony wants to direct and star in said film.


Who Is Jessica Drew?


Jessica Drew’s origins have been tweaked over the years, although she has some consistent elements across Marvel continuity. Sometimes her powers are derived from her mother being struck with a radiation beam while she was pregnant, while others have seen her amplified by a serum created by her father that’s derived from spider DNA. At one point, she was even a super-evolved spider turned into a human, which was hastily retconned by other creators.

Whatever her origins may be, her powers have largely remained the same for decades. She has enhanced strength, speed, and skills. Jessica can secrete a fluid that lets her stick to walls, and she is impervious to most forms of toxins. She can unleash a flood of pheromones from her body, which can cause heightened attraction in others. She also has the ability to create bio-electrical blasts from her hands called Venom Blasts, which are incredibly similar to Miles Morales and his own powers.

Searching for her missing parents, Jessica ended up in the employ of HYDRA. She was unaware of their sheer scale of their villainy but carried out missions until she learned the truth. Breaking away from the organization, she became a hero in her own right and worked alongside others like the Avengers. Most recently, she’s become a private investigator and a mother to a young son named Gerry – who also inherited her abilities.


Why it’s a Big Deal Spider-Woman is Coming to the Big Screen

Three major recent elements of the character could give her more connections to the rest of the MCU, even though she’s starting on the Sony side of it. Jessica has been a long-established best friend to Captain Marvel, which could easily allow her to fill a supporting role in any future Captain Marvel films. She’s also a Spider-Hero of the multiverse, which occasionally draws her into a reluctant leadership role during the Spider-Verse events. This could even set up a Spider-Women team-up, which saw Jessica Drew, Gwen Stacy, and Cindy Moon (aka the still unintroduced Silk).

Jessica was also one of the chief heroes kidnapped and replaced by a Skrull during the events of Secret Invasion. In fact, she was specifically replaced by Veranke, the Skrull Queen and leader of the invasion. With that story coming to the MCU courtesy of Disney+, there’s the chance that she could become a target much as she did in the comics.


How Could Jessica Drew Arrive Onscreen?

Jessica Drew is Spider-Woman

The Illuminerdi has seen the early ideas of what Sony and Marvel want from the character. It’s been hinted that she would fill a similar role to Spider-Man, bridging their Marvel films like Venom and Morbius into the greater MCU. The logline for the film hints at the general arc of the story, and actually seem to reflect a lot of classic elements of the character.

The film will center on Jessica Drew, a young woman who decades ago grew deathly ill after months of exposure to the uranium being used in her father’s scientific experiments. He was forced to use an experimental medicine, which based on the biology of an irradiated spider, to save her. She was sealed away in a genetic accelerator in an attempt to amplify the effects of the serum. Jessica wakes decades later, having not aged much in that time. She also gains a set of powers, along with no memory of who she was in the past.


Right now, the only character associated with the film is Jessica Drew. She’s the original character to bear the name Spider-Woman, although others such as Julia Carpenter, Mattie Franklin, and alternate universe heroes like Gwen Stacy and Mayday Parker have gone by that name as well.

Sony appears to be interested in having Michelle MacLaren direct the film. Although she hasn’t directed a feature film, she has a deep resume of work directing episodes of Game of Thrones, Better Call Saul, and X-Files. She also won two Primetime Emmy Awards for her work on Breaking Bad.

The studio also has an ideal actress in mind to take on the role of Jessica Drew: Alicia Vikander (Tomb Raider), who has plenty of experience leading a franchise. If the film comes together as Sony wants it to, then we could be looking at another connection from the Spider-Verse corner of the universe to the main MCU. [ETA: This article has been edited to clarify that Drew will start in a Sony film, like Venom and friends. But that doesn’t preclude potential future connections to the MCU as a whole.]

Do you think Michelle MacLaren is the right choice to direct Spider-Woman? Which actresses do you think would make the perfect Jessica Drew? Let us know in the comments below.