Marvel fans in mourning since watching Thanos’ will play out in the final 20-minutes of Avengers: Infinity War finally have news worth cheering about, with Jake Gyllenhaal set to feature in his first superhero movie.
Gyllenhaal is reportedly gearing up to play Mysterio, one of Spidey’s most persistent foes.
While four different characters have donned the crystal-ball-head (or dare we say fish-bowl) in the comics, it is expected that Gyllenhaal will portray the villain as created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko in 1964.
Also known as Quentin Beck, Mysterio is a mortal man whose special effects wizardry is often confused with superpowers.
He creates elaborate illusions to commit crimes and hypnotises his enemies – almost convincing our hero to reveal his identity in Amazing Spider-Man Vol 1 #24.
The MCU has long coveted the Academy Award-nominated actor, but the closest he’s come to playing the super-hero archetype was in 2010’s Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time.
Gyllenhaal has traditionally opted for gritty endeavours including Nocturnal Animals (2016), Nightcrawler (2014) and Prisoners (2013), so there is no doubt that he has the acting chops to pull off the mentally unstable and tormented Mysterio.
Truth-be-told, if events surrounding Tobey Maguire’s back injury in 2003 had played out differently, we may have seen Gyllenhaal play Spider-Man himself.
The actor was briefly considered to take over the role in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 2 (2004) if Maguire wasn’t able to fully recover from the injury he sustained while shooting 2003’s Seabiscuit.
In the comics, Mysterio is a nemesis to Spider-Man both alone and as a member of the Sinister Six, united under the leadership of Doctor Octopus.
The incarnation of the Sinister Six also includes Sandman, Kraven the Hunter, Vulture and Electro.
While it is unlikely that Spidey’s sophomore solo film will feature all six adversaries, rumour has it that Micheal Keaton (aka Vulture and father to MJ) will be returning.
If director Sam Raimi had continued his depiction of the spidey-universe, it is safe to say that actor Bruce Campbell, best known for Army of Darkness (1992) and Ash vs Evil Dead (2015-18), would have brought the super-villain Mysterio to life.
Campbell had strategically cameoed in all three 2000’s era Spider-Man films, likely in anticipation of a reveal.
But a fourth movie was not meant to be, with the studio opting to move forward with the refresh origin story starring Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone.
Jon Watts is returning to direct the next Spider-Man movie set to hit cinemas in July 2019.
*SPOILER ALERT AHEAD*
We last saw Peter Parker, played by Tom Holland, evaporating into a pile of dust in what was the most heartbreaking moment of Avengers: Infinity War.
With the sequel releasing two months after Avengers 4, at least there’s comfort in knowing answers aren’t too far away.