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‘Madame Web’ movie filming transforms Boston into retro NYC

Boston’s Financial District is playing 2000s New York City in the new Sony-Marvel film, which takes place in the “Spider-Man” universe.

Two taxi cabs being used for filming the upcoming Sony-Marvel movie "Madame Web," which is currently filming in the Boston area through September.Kevin Slane

A Palm Pilot that uses a brand-new technology called 3G? A pay phone and a New York Daily News box on every corner? Beyoncé's debut solo album?

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

“Madame Web,” which is being produced under the working title “Claire,” began production July 11 and will continue into 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 City’s Chinatown.


Walking along Broad Street, the facade normally used by Warehouse Bar & Grille now advertises a Chase Bank (with both English and Chinese characters) and a Boston-to-NYC bus company similar to the now-discontinued Fung Wah bus line. Parked in front of the building Wednesday afternoon were two NYC cabs, one advertising a handheld device from the early aughts that boasts “all new 3G speed.”

Across the street, a municipal parking lot was given a multi-lingual parking sign and a billboard for Beyonce’s 2003 debut album, “Dangerously in Love.” Just outside of it was an old-school pay phone and newspapers boxes for both The New York Times and the New York Daily News.

Crews on Broad Street in Boston work on set for the Sony-Marvel movie “Madame Web,” which is filming in the Boston area through September.Kevin Slane

Filming is expected to continue through Thursday, with parking signs along multiple nearby streets reserved for picture cars (a term for automobiles used on-screen in films) and other production vehicles.

“Madame Web” is part of Sony’s Spider-Man Universe, which runs 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 “Spider-Man” comics in the 1980s, Madame Web is a blind, clairvoyant woman who lived in a complex life-support system resembling a spider web. Dakota Johnson (“Fifty Shades of Grey”) will play the lead role, and 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, which posted a casting notice for “Claire” in early June, is seeking 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 must fill out a full application that includes two recent headshots, and must be able to commit to one to two days of work lasting 12+ hours.