Amid all the theories and speculation surrounding Marvel Studios' first official film in Phase 4 of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, it's worth considering that Spider-Man: Far From Home's Mysterio could be from an alternate universe. This expanded universe involving multiple dimensions was the focus of Sony's animated film Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, and as far-fetched as it might seem to carry that same concept over to the MCU, it isn't completely implausible.
The way that Quentin Beck/Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal) is presented in the Spider-Man: Far From Home trailer proves that Marvel Studios is taking some creative liberties with the character. In the comics, his origins are decidedly tame. Instead of powers, he has illusions, and instead of fending off evil creatures, he's a down-on-his-luck multidisciplinary actor. So, the extent to which the source material is honored in the film remains to be seen, though there's a chance that aside from Beck cleverly misleading Peter, Spider-Man: Far From Home itself may end up pulling the rug out from underneath its own audience.
Mysterio is a worthy opponent for Spider-Man, which is exactly why fans have been hoping he'd finally get a shot on the big screen to prove his worth. Now, nearly two decades after Sony took the reins on Spider-Man (and 12 years since Sam Raimi nearly introduced Mysterio in Spider-Man 3), the Spidey vs. Mysterio face-off is finally happening. If this theory ends up coming true, then Quentin Beck's backstory won't just be unexpected, but forged in a completely separate universe than the one in which Spider-Man: Far From Home exists. He'll be a product of the Multiverse.
- This Page: What We Know About Mysterio in Spider-Man: Far From Home
- Page 2: Could Mysterio Be Spider-Man From Another Universe?
Jake Gyllenhaal Isn’t The Mysterio You Expect
Mysterio's role in Spider-Man: Far From Home isn't quite as cut and dry as fans might have expected. Instead of playing the classic, mustache-twirling villain, he's actually positioned as a kind of hero. According to some details that have been revealed for the film - let alone how he's seen battling Hydro-Man in the trailer - he and Spidey actually work side-by-side to fight some newfound adversaries. Though it's no mystery that he'll eventually assume a more antagonistic role at some point in the film, his introduction is surprisingly good-natured.
Villains in the MCU have no doubt been hit-or-miss over the past ten-odd years, but they have - for the most part - fallen into a fairly traditional mold. Even if there are shades of good in them (see: Vulture in Spider-Man: Homecoming, Killmonger in Black Panther), the heroes have arguably been far more compelling and layered - until recently at least. With Mysterio, however, the MCU may be delving into wholly new territory. At once doing visual justice to the comics, but also subverting expectations with his eventual arc, Mysterio is shaping up to being something completely unprecedented in this cinematic universe. As a result, this opens the door for some exciting developments.
Jake Gyllenhall Was Almost Spider-Man In The 2000s
In order to dive headfirst into what is undoubtedly an out-there theory, some context about Gyllenhaal's involvement with the Spider-Man franchise will help. Prior to Tobey Maguire being cast in Sam Raimi's 2002 film, he had some competition. Everyone from Freddie Prinze Jr. to James Franco (who would end up playing Harry Osborn opposite Maguire) was considered, but so too considered was Gyllenhaal. Only, his brush with the Marvel universe wasn't a simple case of losing out on an audition. His nearly set-in-stone opportunity to play Spidey was dealt with a disappointing tease.
In 2002, Maguire had suffered some injuries on the set of Seabiscuit. So, to prevent an indefinite delay, Sony reached out to Gyllenhaal to replace him as Peter Parker for Spider-Man 2. As fate would have it, though, Maguire recovered from injuries quickly enough to remain in the film, and Gyllenhaal's short-lived shot at playing Spider-Man came to an end.
Now, there was no bad blood between Gyllenhaal and Sony, but it certainly became a casual talking point among Marvel fans about what might have been. In some alternate universe, perhaps there is a version of Raimi's Spider-Man films in which Gyllenhaal is starring as Parker; and, though that's hardly grounds for canon in the Spidey franchise, it's still casually part of the conversation. When Gyllenhaal was finally cast in a Spider-Man film - as a villain, no less - the irony didn't go unnoticed. But was his casting something Spider-Man: Far From Home's creative team did on purpose? Is the slight meta commentary actually more significant to the plot than Marvel is letting on? Considering how willing Marvel Studios is to think outside the box, it's definitely possible.
- Captain Marvel (2019) release date: Mar 08, 2019
- The Avengers 4 / Avengers: Endgame (2019) release date: Apr 26, 2019
- Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019) release date: Jul 02, 2019