Sandman Still Possible for the MCU After Spider-Man: Far From Home

New details revealed by the visual effects team behind Spider-Man: Far From Home hint the “ambiguous” identities of the Elemental creatures that menace the world leaves the door open for a future appearance by famed villain Sandman. Spoilers follow.

Far From Home presents the Elementals as dimension-hopping monsters who destroyed the homeworld of armored warrior Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal), who heroically steps up to thwart the creatures’ assaults on a world left vulnerable after the events of Avengers: Endgame.

He first combats an Earth-based monster in Mexico before unveiling himself to the world in Venice, where he defeats the water-based Hydro-Man. Only later is it learned the “monsters” are all made possible through the efforts of Mysterio and a team of scorned former Stark Industries employees, who use highly-advanced holograms and an army of drones to convincingly pull off the interdimensional Elementals.

While the filmmakers were inspired by classic Marvel Comics villains Sandman, Hydro-Man, Molten Man and Cyclone, only Hydro-Man and Molten Man were identified by their comic book names in merchandise materials — leaving wiggle room for infamous Sinister Six member Sandman, a.k.a. small time crook-turned-super villain William Baker, to one day appear in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

“I’m not sure which came first in the development process, the idea of using the comic book villains… or elemental creatures that would be subsequently assigned to those villains,” production visual effects supervisor Janek Sirrs told IndieWire.

“Either way we trod a fine line with the connection between the two, and only explicitly called out Hydro-Man’s comic book character’s name, leaving the rest more ambiguous.”

But the creature inspired by Sandman wasn’t given his comic book name, either by Sirrs’ team or director Jon Watts and producer Eric Carroll. Instead, it’s referred to as the “Earth Elemental.”

“As originally scripted, the opening scene that introduces Mysterio didn’t actually include the Earth Elemental at all,” Sirrs added.

“A subsequent version swung in completely the opposite direction, turning it into a full-blown battle sequence with the creature, before finally settling on seeing just enough of it to establish the threat, and the need for a superhero such as Mysterio to take charge.”

“There’s this other subset of Spider-Man villains that are awesome, and we’d love to bring to the big screen, but it seems like maybe a whole movie about Hydro-Man might not be the way to go,” Carroll said during a Far From Home set visit when explaining why it was important to give small-time villains their due on the big screen.

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“I’ve always loved Hydro-Man and Molten Man and his ability to have a giant, elemental kind of creature for Spider-Man to fight against,” added Watts. “Anything that makes things more difficult for him and opens up visual opportunities for me, I’ll run at bat.”

Spider-Man: Far From Home is now playing.