Caution: Spoilers ahead for Spider-Man: Far From Home.
Was Spider-Man: Far From Home's mid-credits scene all an illusion created by Mysterio? The second solo outing for Tom Holland's Peter Parker saw the young superhero struggle in the considerable shadow of Tony Stark, the universe's savior. Dealing with his own grief and a persistent "Nick Fury," Peter is confronted with Quentin Beck, a disgruntled former employee of Stark's (yes, there are more) that has adopted the Mysterio persona and is masquerading as a superhero. Eventually realizing the deceit, Spidey helps take down Mysterio, who appears to die during Spider-Man: Far From Home's climactic battle in London.
At the end of Spider-Man: Far From Home, the audience sees Beck's assistant and former Stark Industries employee, William, take a memory drive from the EDITH control room. Later, in Spider-Man: Far From Home's mid-credits scene, a romantic exchange between Peter and MJ is spoiled by a public video broadcast of Beck shortly before his death, claiming Spider-Man was responsible for the London attack and revealing the web-slinger's true identity. J.K. Simmons also reprises his role as J. Jonah Jameson.
This shocking series of events has a potentially huge impact on the third MCU Spider-Man movie. How much time can be dedicated to Peter clearing his name and proving he wasn't the true culprit of the London drone strike? And wouldn't Peter's real-life identity being revealed be incredibly restrictive for the next Spider-Man movie? The consequences of these occurrences aren't easy to work into the fabric of the MCU, or even into Spidey's personal arc. Maybe it's possible, therefore, that they didn't actually occur at all.
How Mysterio Could Have Faked Spider-Man: Far From Home's Mid-Credits Scene
Spider-Man: Far From Home was keen to demonstrate that the threat of Mysterio would continue from beyond the grave, through both William's mysterious USB stick and the mid-credits scene itself. The implication is that, similar to how Arnim Zola began as an assistant to Red Skull and survived to torment Captain America in a later movie, Mysterio's assistant is willing to carry on the work of his departed leader.
Mysterio's group already had access to virtual reality tech and, even before getting their hands on EDITH, could digitally generate an entire bar scene. Using the same mixture of drones, projectors and effects, the mid-credits scene could've been crafted specifically for Peter Parker's benefit.
Furthermore, the audience has idea of exactly what was contained on William's USB stick. In the context of Spider-Man: Far From Home's mid-credits scene, it's implied that he downloaded Mysterio's final video framing and outing Peter Parker. However, the data could've also included instructions passed down from Mysterio to his assistant, or William might have managed to copy over as much EDITH code as he could before departing the scene. Using Stark's creation, William perhaps upgraded Mysterio's existing illusion capabilities to the point that they could generate an entire New York street convincingly.
It's also impossible to discount that Beck himself may still be alive. Mysterio is, after all, a master of deception, acting and illusion and his death in Spider-Man: Far From Home certainly could've been part of a wider, elaborate escape plan set up as a contingency just in case Beck's masterplan went awry. Beck certainly has far more motivation to personally attack Spider-Man than William, and his mastery of illusion, combined with leftover EDITH tech, could've been responsible for the entire mid-credits sequence.
Why A Fake Mid-Credits Scene May Work Better For Spider-Man 3
Marvel's mid-credits scenes often provide key pieces of information, but they don't usually contain major story beats that are vital to watch in order to understand the next film. The scenes may be comedic, add an extra layer of detail, or hint towards a future character, but they're rarely plot-essential and on the few occasions where post-credits scenes have led directly into a future movie, Marvel has experienced problems. For example, the Captain Marvel mid-credits scene introduced Carol Danvers to the Avengers for the first time, but this meeting was entirely rewritten in Avengers: Endgame, causing some head-scratching in theaters.
Because of this inherent problem with committing a future film to certain major story events months or years in advance, it may benefit Marvel's third Spider-Man movie if the mid-credits scene were some kind of illusion. Spider-Man being framed for a crime he didn't commit doesn't sound like a promising way forward for the character in the MCU, and while his identity being revealed is perhaps more exciting, it's surely far too early for Peter to enter that stage of his crime-fighting career. The friendly neighborhood web-slinger has barely established himself and to have his real name public knowledge in the next movie would greatly restrict the stories and villains that could be used. In the stark realism of the MCU, why would Peter even bother with a full costume?
Mysterio Is Still Spider-Man's Villain (Just Not Quentin Beck)
Taken at face value, the reveal of Peter Parker's identity seemed to be setting up Kraven the Hunter or the Sinister Six as potential future villains. If Spider-Man: Far From Home's mid-credits scene is all an illusion, however, that naturally means Mysterio is still the threat, whether that be in the form of William the assistant or Quentin Beck himself.
The value of having Mysterio return to the MCU rests largely on whether Jake Gyllenhaal would be willing to continue playing the character. Gyllenhaal was an inspired addition to Spider-Man: Far From Home and it'd certainly be interesting to see him integrated into the franchise long-term, in the style of Loki. Without Beck, however, mileage in Mysterio is limited. Nevertheless, revealing Spider-Man: Far From Home's mid-credits sequence as an illusion in Tom Holland's next MCU appearance could lead nicely into the third solo Spider-Man movie, with Mysterio's survival acting as a sub-plot or background story, and a completely new villain taking the lion's share of Peter's attention.
The vast majority of MCU fans stick around until the very end of the credits, but Marvel Studios don't generally assume this to be the case, and if Spider-Man: Far From Home's mid-credits turns out to be real, those who left before it played will be watching the next installment in confusion. Revealing the scene as a Mysterio illusion, however, resets the board somewhat and the returning threat can then develop naturally for credit-watchers and quick-leavers alike.
Is J.K. Simmons Still J. Jonah Jameson?
It's perhaps fair to say that most MCU fans won't mind whether Spider-Man: Far From Home's mid-credits scene is real or not, just so long as J.K. Simmons is still the Daily Bugle's infamously prickly editor-in-chief. Simmons' recasting was widely applauded and many were looking forward to seeing more of his iconic character portrayal in future movies. However, if the entire mid-credits scene is a hoax, is Jameson not a genuine character in the MCU?
Not necessarily. Mysterio's illusions are based within reality, especially those designed to immerse and trick Peter Parker. Therefore, the villain would've designed his creation to mimic real life, suggesting that a screen projection of J. Jonah Jameson would be based on a real version of the newsroom veteran somewhere out there in New York City. Sadly, the real Jameson would likely also accuse Spider-Man: Far From Home's hero of being a menace to society.
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- Eternals (2020) release date: Nov 06, 2020
- Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021) release date: Feb 12, 2021
- Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2021) release date: May 07, 2021
- Thor: Love and Thunder (2021) release date: Nov 05, 2021