"Oh, man. Wow. I mean, like, I think that — you know, I mean, you know," an evasive Gyllenhaal started in response to a fan's question asked at a Talks at Google panel for Broadway's Sea Wall/A Life. When Gyllenhaal's stage co-star Tom Sturridge joked Gyllenhaal would be struck down by a dart to prevent his answering the question, the Marvel star playfully collapsed.
"Oh, I lost my mic, sorry. Oh whoops, I lost my mic! I can't answer your question," Gyllenhaal said. "No, I mean, I think that, I think... he's dead, man. Right? Right? Right?"
Gyllenhaal's master of illusion Mysterio appeared to be killed after being caught in the crossfire of killer drones targeting the meddling Spider-Man (Tom Holland), who thwarted the unhinged Quentin Beck's ploy to be viewed as the world's greatest hero following the death of Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) in Avengers: Endgame.
Using Tony Stark's glasses, housing the artificial intelligence known as E.D.I.T.H., a suspicious Spider-Man instructed the supercomputer to scan for active holograms and was satisfied when E.D.I.T.H. reported none were present — apparently confirming Beck's death.
Beck pulled a final trick on Spider-Man when a doctored video from Mysterio's last stand in London was released to TheDailyBugle.net, used by pundit J. Jonah Jameson (J.K. Simmons) to out Peter Parker as Spider-Man on national television.
When asked by ComicBook.com if Mysterio survived, producer Amy Pascal said ominously, "You don't know." Director Jon Watts agreed there was wiggle room for a return, admitting in a separate interview, "It's Mysterio, so who knows? He definitely seemed dead."
Producer Eric Carroll previously suggested Mysterio could appear in future films during a visit to the Far From Home set, where Carroll said the filmmakers envisioned a dynamic similar to friends-turned-foes Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) and Karl Mordo (Chiwetel Ejiofor) in Doctor Strange.
"We wanted to find our 'in' and similar to what we did with Mordo in Doctor Strange," Carroll said. "We wanted to give them time to have relationships so when and if we get to do something different with Mysterio, it really feels like a betrayal... and we're hopefully setting the stage for something really spectacular and that feels really Spider-Man, which is, again, if we get to do something else with this character, then they've already got this really personal relationship."
In the Marvel Comics, Mysterio is a long-standing member of the Sinister Six, an ever-changing assemblage of Spider-Man's deadliest foes.
Spider-Man movie rights holder Sony Pictures — who have since had a very public split from Disney-owned Marvel Studios that would pull Holland's Spider-Man from the Marvel Cinematic Universe if not resolved — have long had plans for the villain group on the big screen, including a Sinister Six movie under attached writer-director Drew Goddard (The Cabin in the Woods, Bad Times at the El Royale).
"I'm just waiting for Drew to be ready to direct it," Pascal told Vanity Fair in December. "I would do anything with Drew Goddard. I'm just waiting for him to tell me he wants to."
Spider-Man: Homecoming and Far From Home screenwriters Chris McKenna and Erik Sommers are now scripting Spider-Man 3.
"It's really exciting, the ideas we have for how we can expand the Spider-Man world and bring new characters into it, and crossover with other people, it's really exciting," Holland said during an August convention appearance. "And it's only going to get bigger and better from here, which is great."