The latest trailer for this summer’s upcoming Spider-Man: Far From Home dropped Monday morning, this time with a spoiler warning—the events in the trailer take place almost directly in the wake of what happens in Avengers: Endgame.
The most pressing question for fans of the web slinger is why Mysterio—played by Jake Gyllenhaal, in what already looks like a stroke of genius—is presented not as the villain that he’s been since his Marvel Comics introduction way back in 1964, but as a friend. Nick Fury shows up for his own first post-Endgame appearance to introduce himself to Peter, and later to bring Peter to Quentin Beck—aka Mysterio.
Mysterio is one of Spider-Man’s best known foes, though Gyllenhaal is the first to depict the character in a cinematic story—so, theoretically, director Jon Watts and screenwriters Chris McKenna and Erik Sommers could do whatever they want with both the character and his backstory.
But something you have to remember when it comes to Spider-Man movies—from the Prowler in 2018’s Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse, to Michael Keaton’s Vulture in Spider-Man: Homecoming, and all the way back to Willem Dafoe’s Green Goblin and Alfred Molina’s Doc Ock in Sam Raimi’s original Spider-Man trilogy—is that the villain always manages to connect to the hero in some intensely personal way.
So when the MCU version of Spider-Man, still grieving and figuring out how to move forward after the death of his friend and mentor, Tony Stark, finds someone who could potentially fill those shoes, it’s very believable that he would want to buy in. And on the other side of the coin, if Mysterio is indeed nefarious, he probably wouldn’t want to tip his hand to Iron Man’s possible successor, right?
Introducing a classic Spider-Man enemy as a friend, only for the eventual heel turn would seem rather telegraphed to longtime comic fans; perhaps Far From Home really could be taking a new approach to the character. The death of Tony Stark likely means no more Robert Downey Jr. for the MCU, and for the first time in a long time, the universe could make use of an infusion of new star power.
Gyllenhaal is an extremely charismatic actor—one of the few that comes close to matching what RDJ brings to the table. He’s the kind of actor that any big franchise would love to have around. That being said, Gyllenhaal is also the kind of actor who’s seemed to pick and choose his projects at a very high level in the last few years, and it doesn’t seem likely that he’d sign on to appear in more than one MCU vehicle.
The most likely scenario, of course, is that Beck/Mysterio turns on our heroes during the course of the film, and are all just as disappointed as poor Peter Parker surely will be. So, for those of you wondering why Mysterio, at least for now, appears to be a good guy—you don’t have to worry about something of an Iron Man 3 situation just yet.