There are two bits of big ‘Spider-Man’ news. First, it has been confirmed that Mysterio will be the villain in the sequel to ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ AND it has also been confirmed that Jake Gyllenhaal is in talks to secure the role. You may remember that in early August, it was revealed that Matt Damon had been in talks, which were strictly hush-hush as no rumors of that had surfaced before then, but wound up passing. (Damon has already dipped his toe into the Marvel Cinematic pool, with his love it or hate it cameo in ‘Thor: Ragnarok’.) Especially intriguing is the fact that at one point, Gyllenhaal was rumored to be replacing Tobey Maguire in ‘Spider-Man 2’, when negotiations began to break down, following the financial success of the first ‘Spider-Man’. And more recently, there was a rumor that Gyllenhaal would be joining Marvel’s Distinguished Competition, replacing Ben Affleck as Batman/Bruce Wayne).
Gyllenhaal’s Mysterio would be one of two villains as Michael Keaton is said to be returning as The Vulture. (Oh wait… Keaton played Batman… this web is getting way too tangled! Let’s not forget that Jake’s sister Maggie played Rachel Dawes in ‘The Dark Knight’. Or the fact that Affleck and Damon are BFFs, so there’s that too.) There is also the possibility of more bad guys, considering that ‘Homecoming’ included not just The Vulture, but The Prowler (Donald Glover), The Shocker (Logan Marshall-Green/Bokeem Woodbine), The Scorpion (Michael Mando) and The Thinker (Michael Chernus). (Not all of them went by their codenames or played particularly large roles, but the seed is planted for future appearances.)
The original Mysterio premiered in ‘The Amazing Spider-Man’ #13 in 1964. The character was a special effects expert who used his Hollywood skills, plus knowledge of hypnotism and stage magic to create trippy illusions to entrance his victims. He was co-created by illustrator Steve Ditko (with Stan Lee), who also drew ‘Doctor Strange’, where Ditko perfected drawing psychedelic dream realms. Introducing Mysterio into ‘Spider-Man’ allowed him to bring a bit of that dream-like style to that series.
Gyllenhaal has had many roles in acclaimed movies, but perhaps the one that perhaps lends itself best to this role is one of his earliest– ‘Donnie Darko‘, the surreal nightmarish teen fantasy drama from 2001.
He earned an Academy Award nomination for 2006’s ‘Brokeback Mountain’. This fall, he will appear in the indie drama ‘Wildlife’ with Carey Mulligan. His horror movie ‘Velvet Buzzsaw’ is also due to be released this year, but a date hasn’t been finalized. The western, ‘The Sister Brothers’ in which he co-stars with Joaquin Phoenix, is in post-production but also doesn’t have a release date.
‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ is scheduled for release on July 5, 2019. Director Jon Watts is returning along with actors Tom Holland, Jacob Batalon and Zendaya.
What do you think of Gyllenhaal as Mysterio?