Former Superman Actor Dean Cain Responds To Chris Stuckmann’s ‘Madame Web’ Non-Review 

Cain in Gosnell
Dean Cain as Detective James Wood in Gosnell: The Trial of America's Biggest Serial Killer (2018), GVN Releasing

Madame Web is a bomb both critically and commercially. It will probably go down as the worst movie of the year and the worst comic book adaptation of all time. There is no way around that.

Cassie (Dakota Johnson) stands up to Ezekiel Sims (Tahar Rahim) in Madame Web (2024), Sony
Cassie (Dakota Johnson) stands up to Ezekiel Sims (Tahar Rahim) in Madame Web (2024), Sony Pictures

RELATED: Fueling Rumors Of Friction With Sony, Dakota Johnson Says She Hasn’t Watched ‘Madame Web’ And “Probably Won’t”

Most critics and moviegoers who wasted their money place the blame for their dissatisfaction on director SJ Clarkson, the writers, and the editors. A lot of people are also roasting Dakota Johnson for her involvement as the star who turned in a lackluster performance.

One noteworthy person, however, took what he saw as the high road. Chris Stuckmann didn’t “bash” Clarkson, the writers, Johnson, or anyone hired to work on the production.

Instead, he rebuked Sony, the studio behind Madame Web and the semiautonomous Spider-Verse, and the corporate culture in Hollywood magnified by the recent strikes.

The movie reviewer and independent filmmaker posted a video essay expressing sympathy with Clarkson as a director. Stuckmann views her as someone who had the majors in charge of a billion-dollar IP breathing down her neck.

Using Nicolas Cage in Vampire’s Kiss as an illustration, he compared Clarkson and the rest to someone hired for a dirty, demeaning job the boss demands to be completed. Even if it goes wrong and the employee has to take the bullet, they do it under duress since they see no other choice – as if they can’t quit or anything.

Source: Morbius
Matt Smith as Milo transforming in Morbius (2022), Sony Pictures

RELATED: ‘Madame Web’ Gets Squished, Posts Worse Opening Day Box Office Than ‘Morbius’ And ‘The Marvels’

Stuckmann also calls out the industry for being fickle following the strikes’ resolution. Executives don’t know what they want and he hears through the grapevine that many scripts aren’t being read or sold. That is unless the screenplay offers something unique to a mid-budget producer such as Blumhouse or A24.

Sony, however, couldn’t care less, says Stuckmann. All they care about is maintaining ownership of the ‘Spidery’ corner of the Marvel Universe. The lack of quality, he adds, brought on by a mindset still mired in the look and experience of mid-2000s superhero movies proves this.

Uncle Ben (Cliff Robertson) leaves Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire) with one final piece of advice in Spider-Man (2002), Sony Pictures
Uncle Ben (Cliff Robertson) leaves Peter Parker (Tobey Maguire) with one final piece of advice in Spider-Man (2002), Sony Pictures

Stuckmann’s inversion of a review caused somewhat of a stir online. Viewers were puzzled why a professional film reviewer wouldn’t critique a new release when that’s in his job description. He also seemed to single out Madame Web and Sony’s live-action Spider-Verse yet spared the MCU from criticism.

His decision to go in this direction with his analysis surprised the Internet, but Stuckmann has backup in the most unlikely place. Actor Dean Cain and comic creator Gabe Eltaeb, appearing on the Side Scrollers YouTube livestream, expanded on points Stuckmann made about Hollywood.

RELATED: Dean Cain Opens Up About His Decision To Move From California To Nevada, Says The Golden State “Has Gone Crazy”

Eltaeb vilified the ongoing trend of hiring young inexperienced SJWs into positions of power and authority right out of college. He has seen this play out in his field as Cain has in moviemaking. However, Cain echoed the points of Stuckmann and similar ones made by a fellow ex-Superman, the late Christopher Reeve.

Cain recalled first- and second-hand experiences on productions with studio backing where agents and bureaucrats who think they have good ideas – in other words, the Jon Peterses of the world – butt in and cross lines. This can go as far as cutting up props in the costume department, Cain says.

Lois and Clark - The New Adventures of Superman - Warner Bros. Television 2
Dean Cain as Superman and Teri Hatcher as Lois Lane in Lois & Clark: The New Adventures of Superman Season 3 Episode 5 “Just Say Noah” (1995), Warner Bros. Television

“My dad hated it when he was working on set,” he explained. “They [a producer] came on set – I’m not gonna say who it was or what studio – and cut the person’s tie. That did not do well for my dad by the way. That was not a smart move because there was somebody who took great offense to that and became, you know, vengeful if you will.”

He added that “directors are the guys you want to talk to” and having “some 25-year-old exec” tell them what a film should be is “crazy.” Cain agreed that the best directors are the real storytellers and make the movies for themselves in a sense. However, studio people always come in and breathe down necks because they tug “the purse strings.”

Dean Cain Interview - Home & Family via Hallmark Channel, YouTube
Dean Cain Interview – Home & Family via Hallmark Channel, YouTube

That’s why there is a “wealth of indie films,” he continued, that are better than the formulaic stuff Hollywood churns out – like the latest Snow White fiasco. The people making decisions are not creators, artists, or filmmakers – “They’re business people,” Cain proclaimed.

NEXT: Former DC Colorist Gabe Eltaeb Reacts To Resurfaced Page Of John Constantine Kissing The Devil In A Bathroom: “The Captain Of The Titanic Thinks The Leadership At DC Comics Sucks”

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