One of the ways that the Marvel Cinematic Universe Spider-Man movies have distinguished themselves from the Web-Slinger’s previous cinematic outings is by using villains that haven’t been adapted for the big screen yet. In , Peter Parker tangled directly with Vulture and Shocker, and we were also treated to appearances from The Tinkerer and Mac Gargan (though the latter wasn’t in his Scorpion garb). For , it was originally believed Spidey would battle Mysterio, but it’s since been revealed that Jake Gyllenhaal’s Quentin Beck will actually aid the superhero. Now thanks to the new trailer, I can’t help but wonder that rather than being a master of illusions like he is in the comics, the MCU’s Mysterio is a legitimate spell-caster.
In case you’re not familiar with Mysterio, the comic book version of Quentin Beck started out as a special effects expert and stuntman working in Hollywood, but when he realized he couldn’t progress further in his career, he turned to a life of crime. His special effects expertise, combined with his skills as a hypnotist, magician, chemist and inventor, quickly made him one of Spider-Man’s most formidable foes. He doesn’t measure up against Spider-Man in a direct physical fight, but his use of illusions, hallucinogenics and weird gadgets make him incredibly dangerous for not just Spidey, but frankly most Marvel heroes.
When it was first reported that Mysterio would appear in , fans naturally thought we’d be getting a faithful adaptation of the super villain. Obviously some creative liberties would be taken with him, as is the case with characters in every superhero movie, but considering how visually dazzling Mysterio’s “powers” are, it was about time he finally get time to shine on the big screen. But clearly the first cinematic Mysterio will be quite different from his comic book counterpart.
Last month, it was revealed that in , Nick Fury has asked Quentin Beck to help Spider-Man battle strange creatures called Elementals. Right off the bat, not only does that set up Mysterio as an ally rather than an enemy to Spider-Man (at least at first), but it also indicates that he has knowledge of magical or alien. Fast-forward to today, this was the final moment in the trailer before the title card.
Seeing Mysterio plays tricks on Spider-Man and slowly neutralize him is one thing, but watching him fly into battle and shooting green, smoke-like energy at a giant water monster (could this be the MCU’s version of Hydro-Man?) is an entirely different matter. Plus, look at the symbols making up Mysterio’s shield when he’s blocking that attack. Doesn’t it remind you of the spells Doctor Strange and the other sorcerers cast?
Obviously we won’t have the full picture until the movie comes out in July, but the fact that we’re getting a Mysterio who’s helping Spider-Man and combating creatures threatening Earth is a far cry from what fans have come to expect from him. Still, while not faithful to the source material, the possibility of Mysterio being an actual magician rather than a pretender is intriguing.
As we saw in , just because someone has the ability to conjure magic doesn’t mean they’re one of the Masters of the Mystic Arts. Maybe like Jonathan Pangborn, Quentin trained under the Masters and eventually decided he didn’t want to join the organization, or maybe he learned how to conjure magic from another source. Either way, he’s clearly a man of many talents, which is why Nick Fury would want to work with him.
While the MCU movies didn’t show S.H.I.E.L.D. dealing with magic outside of Coulson and his agents interacting with Thor and the Destroyer armor in New Mexico, made it clear that Nick Fury has dealt with supernatural forces in the past, like the Darkhold. Fury may not be directly affiliated with S.H.I.E.L.D. anymore (as far as the movies are concerned, the organization is still collapsed), but he’s still keeping up his spy work. So naturally he’d keep Quentin Beck on retainer should the right threat pop up, and these Elementals evidently fit that classification.
Of course, it’s still possible that Jake Gyllenhaal’s Mysterio is still relying on technology, and the reason its capabilities loo like magic is because he has a taste for the theatrical, especially if, like his comic book counterpart, he previously worked in Hollywood. Going further, though, there’s also the possibility that ‘deception’ is still the name of Mysterio’s game in the MCU.
Perhaps the Elementals aren’t magical or extraterrestrial beings, but advanced technology that Quentin Beck either built himself or obtained elsewhere. Quentin subsequently decides to set up an elaborate scenario were he gets to look like a superhero; the man who saves the day and the public adores. His Elementals are causing real harm, and only Mysterio is the one who can “defeat” him. Spider-Man would eventually catch wind of this plot and fight Mysterio, thus giving a classic clash between these two like we were expecting. But then something goes wrong and causes one or more of the Elementals to go haywire. Quentin can no longer control them, leaving it up to Spidey to neutralize them once and for all.
Longtime Marvel fans know Mysterio as an antagonist who merely fakes having magical powers, so turning him into a real spell-caster for might not sit well with certain fans. On the other hand, sometimes deviations from the source material in a comic book movie can still be well-received, and perhaps Jake Gyllenhaal’s Mysterio will be counted among this group (it certainly helps that he’s still wearing the fishbowl). Or maybe this all just one intricate ploy and Mysterio is still the illusion-casting baddie we love. Hopefully the next trailer will clear this matter up.
will spin its web in theaters on July 5. Stay tuned to CinemaBlend for more updates on the movie, and if you’re interested in learning what other movies are opening this year, check out our 2019 release schedule.