If a confusing phrase about “researching spiders in the Amazon” appears to be taking over your feed, you can thank the new Marvel movie Madame Web. In a trailer for the upcoming film released on Nov. 15, its star, Dakota Johnson, says the line, “He was in the Amazon with my mom when she was researching spiders right before she died.”
The line became an ironic hit with social media users and faced heavy mocking on X, the platform formerly known as Twitter. The phrase has spiraled into a copypasta — a term for widely copy-and-pasted content on social media.
According to Sony Pictures, Madame Web is a “suspense-driven thriller” that tells the standalone origin story of Madame Web, one of the heroines of the Marvel Universe. The Spider-Man spinoff stars Johnson as Cassandra Webb, a paramedic in New York City who begins to predict tragic events and intercept them before they can happen.
The “he” Johnson is referring to in the copypasta line is the movie’s villain, a man named Ezekiel Sims (played by Tahar Rahim).
Following the fallout of the 2021 Sony-Marvel deal, Sony may only make Spider-Man movies as long as the character of Spider-Man isn’t in them. So, the new movie seems like it should take place alongside characters Peter Parker and Miles Morales, but the movie won’t mention them at all. It’s unclear what universe this plot takes place in within the multiverse Marvel has built over the last few years, and this confusion seems to contribute to the negative reactions from viewers and critics.
A critic for The Guardian wrote that the trailer looked “deliberately terrible” with “meme-worthy lines.” They argued that the only way he could comprehend the trailer was that it was “meant to be bad.” The Verge asked in its headline about the trailer, “What the hell is going on?”
But it’s the “researching spiders in the Amazon” line in particular that people really can’t seem to get over.
"He was in the Amazon with my mom when she was researching spiders right before she died" Such an unserious movie
— THE T'Challa Stan (@TChalla_1966) November 15, 2023
The phrase has now become its own meme as people continue to troll the movie online and share it over and over again on social media.
he was in. the amazon. with my mom. when she was researching spiders right before she died. pic.twitter.com/CuzJUPpcF3
— William Yu 유규호 (@its_willyu) November 17, 2023
In another life, he was in the Amazon with my mom when she was researching spiders right before she died pic.twitter.com/6NzEcjEXdb
— Chris 🇮🇪 (@ThisIsCreation) November 16, 2023
Some users are even using clips or stills from classic movies and inserting the line as if to emphasize how ridiculous it sounds. For example, this one screenshot from the romantic comedy Notting Hill.
I’m just a girl, standing in front of a boy, asking where he was when I was in the Amazon with my mom when she was researching spiders right before she died pic.twitter.com/Ny8nD99x29
— em ~ goose’s #1 fan 🚀⚡️✨ (@_EMMinem) November 16, 2023
Others have created some multi-layered memes that also refer to the original Spider-Man movies — and the screencaps that stemmed from those.
She said “he was in the Amazon with my mom when she was researching spiders right before she died” pic.twitter.com/lPfdRDUPqS
— Adam Straughan (@Straughan87) November 16, 2023
While the trailer may have had some poor reception from fans, time will tell whether audiences grow to love Madame Web just as much as they do other stories in the Marvel Universe. The film premieres on Feb. 14, 2024.
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