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Dakota Johnson on Those ‘Madame Web’ Reviews: ‘Art Does Not Do Well’ When ‘Made by Committee’

What a web Dakota Johnson is weaving. Not that she’s wrong.

The “Madame Web” actress said in a Bustle cover story that while it’s difficult to get indie films made, large studios are relying on “numbers and algorithms” for big-budget films. In short, art shouldn’t have to be monitored so closely, according to Johnson. And that’s what happened with “Madame Web.”

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“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,” Johnson said. “Art does not do well when it’s made by committee.”

The actress and TeaTime producer continued, “Films are made by a filmmaker and a team of artists around them. You cannot make art based on numbers and algorithms. My feeling has been for a long time that audiences are extremely smart, and executives have started to believe that they’re not. Audiences will always be able to sniff out bullshit. Even if films start to be made with AI, humans aren’t going to fucking want to see those.”

As for leading superhero movie “Madame Web,” Johnson admitted that she does “understand” why the film was “ripped to shreds” by critics.

“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 said. “I had never done anything like it before. I probably will never do anything like it again because I don’t make sense in that world. And I know that now.”

She added of the “committee” behind “Madame Web,” “That’s why I have my own company [TeaTime]. In a movie like that, I have no say about anything.”

Following “Madame Web,” Johnson returned to her indie filmmaking space with Sundance-selected film “Daddio.”

“I went directly from ‘Madame Web’ to ‘Daddio,’ and that was my salvation,” Johnson said. “We shot that in 16 days, and my company made it, so that means that I was very hands-on. It was amazing. Sean [Penn] was amazing. It was so contained. It was really like a play. We would shoot 20 pages a day.”

Johnson isn’t the only actor opening up about working with “committees” behind major superhero tentpole films. Marvel staple Chris Evans, who formerly played Captain America in the franchise, explained during an Emerald City Comic-Con panel how there are a “lot of cooks in the kitchen” when it comes to crafting superhero movies.

“They are these big, giant movies. There’s a lot of cooks in the kitchen. But the empirical evidence is in: They are not easy to make,” Evans said. “If it was easier, there would be a lot more good ones.”

The actor added, “I’m not throwing shade! I’ve been a part of a few that missed. It happens. Making a movie is tough. More cooks in the kitchen doesn’t make it easier.”

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