How Jake Gyllenhaal Changed Mysterio's Role in Spider-Man: Far From Home

Slight spoilers for Spider-Man: Far From Home up ahead. Far From Home introduced the beloved Jake Gyllenhaal to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Though his character — Quentin Beck, a.k.a. Mysterio — was painted as a hero for the duration of the film's marketing, he expectedly experienced a villainous turn nearly halfway through the movie.

Not unlike the casting of Michael Keaton in Spider-Man: Homecoming, Marvel Studios landed a massive name in Gyllenhaal and it was pretty apparent they'd let the actor do whatever he wanted with the character within reason. In the post-release press tour involved with Far From Home, writers Erik Sommers and Chris McKenna spoke with Variety and detailed the changes Gyllenhaal brought forth after the script had already been written.

"Jake just really liked the idea that he was manipulating everyone’s love of superheroes and that need for heroes," Sommers reflected. "He also wanted to make sure that the front half of his character played as realistically as possible. We all wanted everyone to believe that what we were seeing is what we were getting. We really wanted to make everything as specific as possible so it really did seem like this was a man out of time and out of place coping with a really insane situation that he tragically had gone through."

McKenna's response to the same question was much less serious, joking how Gyllenhaal's choice for facial hair was a game changer.

"He had a beard! He wanted a beard. He was right," joke McKenna. "It was one of those things. He knows as an actor what plays and what doesn’t. What we really wanted was someone to really be an alluring, father-figure replacement for Tony [Stark]. Jake knew how to do that, from his performance all the way down to his hair. If you look at him, you think, 'Oh! I want that guy to be my new dad.'"

The thoughts of the writers closely match that of Far From home director Jon Watts, who previously described Gyllenhaal's take on Mysterio as the "cool, fun uncle" to Tom Holland's Peter Parker.

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What was your favorite moment from Spider-Man: Far From Home? Where would you rank Mysterio in your list of MCU villains? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

Spider-Man: Far From Home and Avengers: Endgame are now in theaters while Captain Marvel is now available wherever movies are sold.

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