‘Madame Web’ movie set turns Boston into retro NYC


Boston’s financial district plays 2000s New York in the new Sony-Marvel movie, set in the “Spider-Man” universe.

Two taxis used for the filming of the upcoming Sony-Marvel movie ‘Madame Web’, currently filming in the Boston area through September. Staff of Kevin Slane/Boston.com

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A Palm Pilot that uses a brand new technology called 3G? A public telephone and a New York Daily News box at each corner? Beyoncé’s first solo album?

Welcome to New York City in the early 2000s – or rather welcome to the set of “Madame Web”, the Sony-Marvel superhero movie currently filming in Boston.

“Madame Web,” which is being produced under the working title “Claire,” began production on July 11 and will continue through September, according to a source familiar with the production.

Crews for the film began filming in Boston’s Financial District earlier this week, transforming several blocks around Liberty Square into a slightly retro version of New York’s Chinatown.

Walking along Broad Street, the facade normally used by Warehouse Bar & Grille now advertises a Chase Bank (with English and Chinese characters) and a Boston-NYC bus company similar to the now discontinued Fung Wah bus line. On Wednesday afternoon, two New York taxis were parked outside the building, one advertising an early 2000s portable device with “all new 3G speed”.

Across the street, a municipal parking lot received a multilingual parking sign and a billboard for Beyonce’s 2003 debut album, “Dangerously in Love.” Just outside was an old-fashioned phone booth and newspaper boxes for both The New York Times and the New York Daily News.

Boston's Broad Street crews work on the set of the Sony-Marvel movie
Broad Street crews in Boston are working on set for the Sony-Marvel film “Madame Web,” which is filming in the Boston area through September.

Filming is expected to continue through Thursday, with parking signs along several nearby streets reserved for movie cars (a term for automobiles used onscreen in films) and other production vehicles.

“Madame Web” is part of Sony’s Spider-Man Universe, which works in conjunction with the Marvel Cinematic Universe and features films like “Venom,” “Morbius” and the upcoming “Kraven the Hunter.” The recent “Spider-Man” trilogy starring Tom Holland as the web-slinger was a collaboration between Sony and Marvel Studios, while the other aforementioned films are handled exclusively by Sony.

Introduced in the “Spider-Man” comics in the 1980s, Madame Web is a blind, clairvoyant woman who lived in a complex spider-web-like survival system. Dakota Johnson (“Fifty Shades of Grey”) will star, and will be joined by Emma Roberts (“We’re The Millers”), Sydney Sweeney (“Euphoria”), Celeste O’Connor (“Ghostbusters: Afterlife”) , Isabela Merced (“Transformers: The Last Knight”), and Tahar Rahim (“The Mauritanian”), according to deadline.

Kendall Cooper Casting, who posted a casting notice for “Claire” in early June, is looking for extras “of all ethnicities, ages, genders and sizes” local to the Boston area for the film, as well as cars from the year 2005 or earlier.

Boston-area residents hoping to be cast as extras should complete a complete application which includes two recent portraits and must be able to commit to one to two days of work lasting more than 12 hours.