If you’re a fan of Spider-Man (and who isn’t?) yesterday was a great day. Not only did news drop that Jake Gyllenhaal was in talks to join Spider-Man: Homecoming 2 as the villain Mysterio. But we also found out that Michael Keaton is returning as the Vulture. Add in Riz Ahmed’s appearance in the first Spider-Man as Mac Gargan, a.k.a. the Scorpion, and you’ve got yourself 50% of a Sinister 6 (or Sinister Six if you’re being accurate).
So is the next movie going there? And how much of a threat will Spider-Man (Tom Holland) be to one supervillain, let alone six, considering he’s currently a pile of dust?
First, let’s talk about a little history here.
Jake Gyllenhaal’s Mysterio-us Comic Movie Past
Despite starring in the movie Nightcrawler, Gyllenhaal has yet to appear in a superhero movie. He’s flirted with the possibility for a while, though. When Tobey Maguire hurt his back filming Seabiscuit, producers of the Spider-Man franchise briefly considered switching out Maguire for Gyllenhaal in Spider-Man 2. And there were plenty of rumors that if Ben Affleck exited the DC movie universe, Gyllenhaal would replace him as Batman.
But if Gyllenhaal does play Mysterio, this would be his first comic book movie role. Huzzah!
The First Appearance Of Mysterio
But wait, who is Mysterio, you may ask? The illusion powered Spider-Man villain was first introduced in 1964, in “The Amazing Spider-Man #13.” Created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko, there have been a number of villains to hold the name. But the powers have all been relatively consistent: he creates illusions. Sometimes they’re simple movie style effects, sometimes they’re more fear-gas based like The Scarecrow from DC Comics.
But his main purpose is to make you question reality, while he robs banks.
What Does Mysterio Look Like Without The Helmet?
There was actually an Ultimate version of Mysterio introduced who didn’t even have a helmet. Instead, a sort of flame/mask thing obscured his identity. But the costume is usually characterized by an enormous helmet with eyes. Underneath, though? He’s just a guy. Nothing weird, no scars like Dr. Doom. Just a dude with a helmet.
So What’s This About The Sinister 6, Then?
It’s a collection of, you guessed it, six Spider-Man villains. They first appeared together in 1964’s “The Amazing Spider-Man Annual #1,” and have turned up a bunch of times since. The original line-up was Doctor Octopus, Vulture, Electro, Kraven the Hunter, Mysterio, and Sandman.
It’s also something that’s been pushed by Sony Pictures (the folks behind the various Spider-Man movie series) a lot. There were rumors about the team-up around the time the Tobey Maguire series was scrapped after three villains (Green Goblin 2, Sandman and Venom) were forced into Spider-Man 3. Then the whole rebooted Amazing Spider-Man series with Andrew Garfield was expressly set up to launch not just the villain team, but a new franchise.
Particularly in Amazing Spider-Man 2, and deleted scenes, you can see teases for Doctor Octopus and The Vulture, both of which didn’t pan out. There’s even a line in the ASM2 trailer where Norman Osborn says, “We have plans for you, Parker.” Not only did they not have plans, but the line got cut from the movie. So sad.
Anyway, it’s a little nerve-wracking to think about, as villain glut has killed two Spider-Man franchises already. But with Vulture and Mysterio in the next movie, it’s still a tantalizing possibility.
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