Jake Gyllenhaal doesn’t seem villainous, does he? He’s got a naturally kind face, a pleasantness to him - we have no evidence to back this up (apart from maybe this interview), but he seems like if you were at a party in his house and passed out on the settee he’d 100% put a duvet on you.
Maybe, perversely, it’s the inherent sweetness that exudes from him that make him a perfect choice to play a villain in Spider-Man: Far From Home, the sequel to Spider-Man: Homecoming. He’ll be appearing in the 2019 film as Mysterio (the one with the fishbowl head), and was spotted filming this week on the streets of the Czech Republic in a snazzy purple metal suit, complete with beard and cape.
[IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER: At least one of those pictures manifestly shows a stunt double, and some people have suggested that the armour actually looks a bit more like that of Doctor Doom. Far From Home takes place in Europe, where Doom’s home nation of Latveria is, but at the same time, Doctor Doom is so much a foe of the Fantastic Four that it would be at least a bit weird to have him in this. It would also be even weirder to have a handsome bearded Doctor Doom that it would a handsome bearded Mysterio. So our money would be on Mysterio. But we might be wrong.]
Who is Mysterio in Spider-Man?
Mysterio first appeared in the comics in June 1964, in The Amazing Spider-Man #13. A Hollywood special effects expert named Quentin Beck, he uses his skills in lieu of any superhuman powers, creating various machines and substances, along with hypnosis and elaborate disguises, to terrorise the city and Spider-Man.
In later stories he ends up a broken and dejected figure, eventually killing himself (yup, Spider-Man gets dark too), before returning to life (come on, it’s Spider-Man, what did you expect!), having been rejected from Hell, missing a huge chunk of his head where he shot himself (still pretty bleak though).
At this point it’s not been made clear whether Gyllenhaal’s Mysterio has any supernatural powers, but it seems more in fitting with the Marvel Cinematic Universe thus far to stick with the “disgruntled special effects expert turned villain” line than the “rejected from Hell for suicide” one.
Visually, Mysterio’s trademark has always been his fishbowlesque headgear, which Jake Gyllenhaal’s head seems to be sadly missing:
It seems kind of fair enough that they wouldn’t have the helmet in the film. It seems like a hard one to do cinematically without crossing the Silly Line. But also, why the hell would anyone spend so much casting someone as handsome as Jake Gyllenhaal in their film and then cover his beautiful chops with a half-arsed disco ball?
It seems like a safe bet that they’ll nod to it in some way, though - Gyllenhaal trying a helmet on before deciding against it, or a fishbowl smashing over his head in a fight scene or something. They’ll find some clever way of doing it. They’re good, these Marvel people. They know how to deliver a wink and a nod.
What isn’t clear is how Spider-Man (Tom Holland) will do anything, given that he dissolved into nothingness at the end of Avengers: Infinity War. Maybe he’s not in it, what a twist that would be (he’s definitely in it).
The fourth Avengers film (still, as of now, untitled), is currently set for release on 26 April, 2019, which is just a few months before Far From Home’s proposed release date of July 5, 2019, so it seems reasonable to assume that (a) it brings him back to life and (b) he remains alive. Samuel L. Jackson and Cobie Smulders (Nick Fury and Maria Hill) are also in this, so they’re presumably going to be reanimated as well.
And that’s ya lot! Stay tuned for more Spidey updates soon.