Spider-Man: Far From Home introduced a new character to the Marvel Cinematic Universe in the form of Jake Gyllenhaal's Quentin Beck who operates under the guise of Mysterio. By the time the final entry to the MCU's Infinity Saga came to an end, Mysterio was made to be very complex with heavy ties to the history of the franchise, especially in regards to relationships with Tony Stark. Spider-Man: Far From Home director Jon Watts particularly enjoyed crafting Gyllenhaal's role in the film.
Spoilers for Spider-Man: Far From Home follow. Major spoilers!
Originally claiming to be from an alternate and now destroyed Earth, Mysterio was ultimately a fraud. He wanted revenge against Tony Stark for treating him poorly and he wanted Avengers-like fame. Neither would come his way, despite rounding up several former employees of Tony Stark in an effort to use his technology against the world.
"Jake is amazing," Watts tells ComicBook.com. "And once we knew what we wanted this Mysterio character to be, it was pretty clearly going to be Jake's role. Not very many actors can pull off those different shades of a character and do it in such an incredibly compelling way. Yeah. And as soon as it all made sense to Jake, he just knew exactly what to do and it was just like an absolute joy to watch him do that."
Gyllenhaal's sudden shift from a man posing as a hero to a villain exposing his secrets was an impressive display of acting dynamics about two-thirds into the film. At that moment, when Quentin Beck obtained the EDITH glasses and successfully conned Peter Parker, the truth came out. "There's no Earth-616," Watts said. "Earth-616 is the comics version of it. He's just making that up." The MCU's Earth is Earth-19999 and that is where Quentin Beck originated. Though a multiverse did spawn from time travel in Avengers: Endgame, Spider-Man: Far From Home was not affected.
As it turns out, Quentin Beck's long-running history on the MCU's Earth goes as far back as the first Iron Man. Not only did he claim to have invented the B.A.R.F. technology seen in Captain America: Civil War but he recruited former employees of Tony's like William Ginter Riva, a man who never felt quite as smart as Iron Man in the 2008 movie.
"That all happened as we were developing just sort of the how, like developing the how of what Mysterio does," Watts explained. "Like we knew that it was going to be some sort of like an illusion technology and then when you get into the world of evolution technology, you know, you had this rich world of films to draw from. So you're like, 'Oh yeah, it's similar to the B.A.R.F technology.' And then you're like, 'Well maybe it is the B.A.R.F technology,' and that's how you get the visual side of it."
Then, the process goes on an adds new elements to the MCU. "As we try to figure out how he's pulling off these illusions, you realize well there has to be actually some physical damage," Watts explains. "So, how are you going to actually do physical damage? You know, if you have these weaponized drones, is it Hammer Tech or is it someone else from like deeper in the Stark organization, you know? Then you get back to, Iron Man one. Because the MCU is so rich, you can just draw from the MCU."
Of course, Mysterio's efforts were somewhat aided by the state of mind of the world following Avengers: Endgame. "So many crazy things happen Endgame, like half of the population disappears and Thanos invades Earth and time travel is possible," Watts said. "So like the fact that people would just believe what his view is, like, lies about it multi-verse makes sense to me. It's like the world is so crazy that like why wouldn't you believe it?"
While a third Spider-Man film has not yet been announced, Watts and company are expected to return to follow up on their massive cliffhangers explained in the video above. "There's certainly going to be big repercussions from the way we end this film," Watts said.
Ominously, producer Amy Pascal has three words about whether Mysterio is dead or alive after Spider-Man: Far From Home: "You don't know."0comments
Spider-Man: Far From Home is now playing in theaters.
Disclosure: ComicBook is owned by CBS Interactive, a division of ViacomCBS.