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Russell Crowe Reacts to Dakota Johnson’s Madame Web Comments

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Russell Crowe Reacts to Dakota Johnson’s Madame Web Comments
Russell Crowe Reacts to Dakota Johnson’s Madame Web Comments

Russell Crowe is reacting to Dakota Johnson’s recent criticism of working on Sony’s Marvel film, Madame Web.

“I don’t want to make any comments to what anybody else might have said or what their experience is, but … you’re bringing out the impish quality of my humor,” Crowe, 60, said with a laugh during an interview with GQ UK published on June 13. “You’re telling me you signed up for a Marvel movie, and some f–king universe for cartoon characters … and you didn’t get enough pathos? Not quite sure how I can make this better for you. It’s a gigantic machine and they make movies at a certain size.”

The actor went on to cite his experience on the DC side working on the 2013 film Man of Steel and the Marvel side with the 2022 project Thor: Love and Thunder. (While Johnson’s Madame Web was produced by Sony’s Columbia Pictures, Crowe’s Thor sequel was made by the Disney-owned Marvel Studios.)

“These are jobs,” he explained. “You know: here’s your role, play the role. If you’re expecting this to be some kind of life-changing event, I just think you’re here for the wrong reasons.”

Related: Dakota Johnson, Ryan Reynolds and Others Who Ripped Their Box Office Bombs

Steve Granitz/FilmMagic; Michael Loccisano/WireImage Madame Web, Marvel’s latest superhero movie and a Spider-Man spinoff, debuted in February 2024 to overwhelmingly negative reviews. Its 13 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes and 26/100 Metacritic score were bad enough, but the film’s star Dakota Johnson’s own comments on the movie’s press tour didn’t exactly help matters. Asked if […]

Back in March, Johnson, 34, was asked if she was affected by negative reviews. She proceeded to share her experience working on Madame Web, which was released one month earlier. The film bombed at the box office and was panned by critics.

“Unfortunately, I’m not surprised that this has gone down the way it has,” Johnson told Bustle. “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.”

The actress argued that films are stronger if created by a filmmaker and a “team of artists around them.”

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“You cannot make art based on numbers and algorithms,” she said. “My feeling has been for a long time that audiences are extremely smart, and executives have started to believe that they’re not.”

Although Crowe didn’t want to comment directly on Johnson’s experience, he acknowledged that the filming process for a CGI-heavy superhero film comes with some difficulties.

“It can be challenging, working in a blue-screen world, when you have to convince yourself of a lot more than just the internal machinations of your character,” he explained. “You can’t make this a direct comment on her because I don’t know her and I don’t know what she went through, and the fact that you can have a s–t experience on a film … Yeah, you can. But is that the Marvel process? I’m not sure you can say that. I haven’t had a bad experience.”

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