Lesser-known Marvel Comics supervillain Swarm, primarily a foe of Spider-Man, was in contention as one of the "Elementals" conjured by illusionist Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal) in Spider-Man: Far From Home.
"We'd been researching other Spider-Man villains, and we had images of Hydro-Man and [Molten Man] from the '60s and '70s comics on the wall," co-writer Erik Sommers told Backstory Magazine.
"And we thought, 'What if we had our version of Hydro-Man? What if we had our version of Molten Man? And what if we did them in a new, modernized MCU way, not like where Hydro-Man is coming out of a gardening hose or a shower head?'
"Then we wanted to unify them, so instead of calling them Hydro-Man or Molten Man we called them Elementals so there was a real mythos around them. For the most part, they were Hydro-Man, Molten Man, Swarm... but they weren't actually 'the Elementals' when we were kicking around what these false attacks and false flags would be."
The first Elemental to surface, confronted by Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) and Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders) in Mexico, bore a resemblance to another classic Spider-Man enemy — recurring Sinister Six member Sandman — but Far From Home production visual effects supervisor Janek Sirrs earlier told IndieWire that creature was referred to only as the "Earth Elemental."
"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," Sirrs said.
"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."
Beyond Hydro-Man and later Molten Man, who does battle with Peter Parker (Tom Holland) in Prague, the last Elemental was inspired by Cyclone, another B-list Spider-Man enemy who first appeared in the '70s.