Dakota Johnson Said She’s ‘Not Surprised’ Madame Web Flopped & Tore Its Studio Execs To Shreds


It’s been no secret that Dakota Johnson has been less than impressed with the final cut of Madame Web, if her chaotic — though endearingly honest — press tour has been anything to go by.

The 50 Shades star, who Gen Z probably knows better for her iconic takedown of Ellen DeGeneres and completely mystifying anecdotes, has been putting minimal effort into promoting the film in her junket interviews — something that hasn’t gone unnoticed given the dreadful reviews it got.

There’s been much speculation that Johnson was unhappy, and potentially embarrassed, by the film and its spectacular failure — she left her agent days after the release of Madame Web‘s trailer — but again, this was all speculation.

However, in an interview with Bustle, Johnson discussed the “nasty reviews” the film has been getting and made it clear that yep, the film sucked and she truly cannot blame people for hating on it.

“Unfortunately, I’m not surprised that this has gone down the way it has,” she said.

“It’s so hard to get movies made, and in these big movies that get made — and it’s even starting to happen with the little ones, which is what’s really freaking me out — 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.”

Look, you can’t deny that Madame Web felt like it was created by an AI.

Dakota Johnson’s face when she saw the trailer of Madame Web and realised what it actually was, probably. Image: Sony Pictures.

“My feeling has been for a long time [has been] that audiences are extremely smart, and executives have started to believe that they’re not,” Johnson continued.

“Audiences will always be able to sniff out bullsh*t. Even if films start to be made with AI, humans aren’t going to fucking want to see those.”

Johnson said that making Madame Web was “definitely an experience” — but not one she wants to repeat, because she felt the film wasn’t actually what she signed up for.

“I probably will never do anything like it again because I don’t make sense in that world. And I know that now. But 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, and 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 also said in the interview that she had “no say about anything” in Madame Web, and that going back to Daddio — an actually serious film — was her “salvation” from the shitshow.

Honestly, fair enough.

I, too, would be deeply pissed off if I signed on to a movie as an actor that takes my craft seriously, only for the film to devolve into the biggest meme of the season.

In fact, that would be my villain origin story. So, perhaps a premise for Madame Web 2, anyone?

Image: Hector Vivas/Getty Images.