The team behind Spider-Man: Far From Home have finally confirmed that the Elementals who will serve as antagonists in the film are based on B-List Spider-Man villains, rather than the comic book team of immortals they're named after. Ever since Tom Holland and Jake Gyllenhaal teased that Peter Parker and Quentin Beck aka. Mysterio would be fighting the Elementals together, fans have been questioning the real identity of these bad guys - and Easter eggs in the first trailer helped many viewers reach their own conclusions.
Given that Mysterio's new identity as a hero already ran counter to his sinister origins, it made sense to assume that the so-called Elementals had also been repurposed in some way. While they were originally introduced as magical masters of the four classic elements who were powerful enough to fight Captain Marvel, the ones that appear in the Spider-Man: Far From Home trailers as villains Peter battles while on his European summer vacation are closer to mindless albeit tough monsters.
That's because they're actually based on different bad guys entirely, some of which Spider-Man producer Eric Carroll unveiled to Screen Rant while attending a set visit in the UK last summer. When it came to the creature known as the Water Elemental, Carroll explained that "he's of course inspired by... a B-list Spider-Man villain called Hydro-Man." While the source material for his character may be sparse, the visuals he inspired were plentiful. "He can get his power from [Venice’s] Grand Canal, so the larger water body he has access to can allow him to grow in size and strength. So that will be part of the strategy that he uses to, of course, defeat him."
He also went into more detail about the Fire Elemental, revealing that "he's inspired by a character in the comics called Molten Man." In order to strike a balance between making the fire villain look appropriately majestic but also not typical of superhero movies nowadays, the creative team went back to the comic drawing board for inspiration. "Molten Man was always made of molten gold. A yellow, molten metal. So we took that, and again, we think it's a really unique take on this kind of monster and we're super excited for this sequence."
While previous Spider-Man movies have often relied on Peter's personal connection to the antagonists in question, with Vulture being his crush's father as the most recent example, the producers went with a different angle this time around. This particular threat will test the young hero's abilities in new ways, which is part of their appeal. "They all exist in the comic books for so long that we decided we think that's because it puts Spider-Man in all these interesting positions," Carroll offered. "He can't punch this guy - he has to use his real superpower, which is his genius-level intellect."
It will certainly be a change of pace to see Peter go up against villains he can't simply punch or web away, but there's another reason Spider-Man: Far From Home chose a team of unknowns over a singular iconic mastermind. "It means we get to play with these characters who would probably never get to the big screen any other way." Of course, with Mysterio being an antagonist to Spider-Man in the comics, it's possible the movie is hiding another villain in plain sight by having Quentin Beck be Peter Parker's ally to start. But for much of the film, Peter will be tested by the Elementals in Spider-Man: Far From Home.
- Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 02, 2019