Spider-Man 3 Casting Report Teases Bigger Role for Jacob Batalon's Ned

Jacob Batalon's Ned has been a focal point of the Marvel Cinematic Universe's Spider-Man movies, serving as the best friend to Tom Holland's Peter Parker but also his right hand man through all his exploits as the webslinger. Batalon is set to reprise his role once again for the upcoming third movie and has already made headlines after revealing his dramatic personal weight loss, in addition to being very active on social media as he prepares for filming on the sequel. A new report on the film reveals that Marvel Studios could be giving him an even bigger role in the new movie, or at least expanding on his back story in some way.

According to The Direct Sony Pictures is looking for "a Filipina actress within the age range of 50-80 years old for a small supporting role," with the outlet noting that their sources indicated that the part was for a "relative of Ned Leeds." It's worth noting that Batalon himself is half-Filipino, so this casting could indicate that studio is being respectful to his actual heritage while looking for someone to fill the part of his on-screen family.

Batalon has previously lobbied to Marvel for his character to be expanded on the big screen in a less personal way and a more evil one. As comic readers might recall, Ned Leeds was none other than the Spider-Man villain the Hobgoblin (though not officially, standing in for the villain despite still dying in the costume).

"That just further validates my theory of Ned becoming Hobgoblin, but hey... But it’d be so great [if] they’re not going to want me to die," Batalon said about the character's future in an interview last fall. "[I hope] they’re going to want me to stay on and be part of the Sinister Six. That’s just my theory."

It seems a little unlikely that Batalon's character will suit up as a villain though since the movie will seemingly already be filled with antagonists, including none other than Jamie Foxx who returns as the villain Electro.

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"I'm a huge fan of Jamie Foxx. Like, literally, I grew up watching his things so being able to work with all these influential people in these movies has been like a godsend," the Spider-Man star told ComicBook.com when we spoke with him earlier this month. "I truly can't believe ... it's really because of Spider-Man that I get to meet all my heroes. Just having Jamie Foxx, he's so prolific, he's this very diverse ... he can just do everything. It's so awesome to really just know that he's in our project. That's so awesome."

Spider-Man 3 is set for release on December 17, 2021.