Rumours about Jake Gyllenhaal joining either the Marvel or DC Universes have been swirling for quite some time now. Once upon a time, he was favourite to play Peter Parker before Tobey Maguire turned up. For a while, his name was floated about as a possible post-Affleck Batman. But it looks like it’ll be Marvel who locks him into that contract, as The Hollywood Reporter revealed that Gyllenhaal is in talks to join the Spider-Man universe as its next villain. Following in the footsteps of Michael Keaton’s Vulture, Gyllenhaal is rumoured to be playing Mysterio.
Mysterio is the name of various characters in Marvel’s universe, but the most popular iteration is that of Quentin Beck, a special effects expert and Hollywood stuntman with dreams of fame and fortune. He soon decides that a life of super-villainy is more rewarding than humdrum movie-making, and becomes a nemesis of Spider-Man. Later, he joined the Sinister Six. Others have taken on the Mysterio mantle, including Daniel Berkhart, a stunt-man hired by J. Jonah Jameson to torment Spider-Man, and Francis Klum, a mutant with teleportation powers.
It was rumored for a while that, if Sam Raimi were to make a 4th Spider-Man film, the main villain would have been Mysterio, as played by old pal Bruce Campbell.
Michael Keaton’s Vulture was one of the surprise highlights of Spider-Man: Homecoming, and showed how Marvel were finally upping their game when it came to making their villains genuinely interesting. Gyllenhaal can be quite picky as an actor and he’s been burned by big franchises before (remember when this very white dude was cast in Prince of Persia?), so if he is willing to sign onto the Marvel machine, the role must be reasonably substantial. Whether it’s a one-off case or the full multi-film contract remains to be seen.
Gee, I wonder what this news means for the fate of Peter Parker post-Infinity War?
(Header photograph from Getty Images)