Spider-Man 3: Will Ned Become Hobgoblin?

Principal photography is officially underway for Marvel Studios and Sony's Spider-Man 3, with the cast assembling in Atlanta to begin work on the highly anticipated sequel. As the same with the first two MCU-set Spider-Man flicks, Jacob Batalon has returned to star in the feature alongside the likes of Tom Holland and Zendaya. This time, however, the actor has arrived on set sporting a slimmed-down look, leading some to believe the actor could be preparing for a major change to the character he portrays on-screen.

You see, long ago in the Marvel Comics lore, Ned Leeds was duped into standing in as the iconic Spidey villain on more than one occasion, thanks in part to the brainwashing capabilities of the "real" Hobgoblins. While the character never officially becomes the villain, we've seen many times the Marvel Cinematic Universe has taken certainly liberties with the source material at hand. Add the fact Batalon himself has previously lobbied to be the character, and a few of the stars have started to align needed for the character's live-action introduction to take place.

"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."

Batalon's only expands on the idea of a Sinister Six spinoff, something that's been brewing for years within the halls of Sony.

"These villains we now have in our universe happen to be characters that are in the Sinister Six," Pascal said on the home media release for Spider-Man: Far From Home. "There may be something that happens with that." At one point, Sony had commissioned a Sinister Six script from former Daredevil bossman Drew Goddard, one in which the studio was reportedly very impressed with.

As recently as December, Pascal confirmed she was still on board with producing the movie as soon as Goddard was available to sign on board and direct. "I'm just waiting for Drew to be ready to direct it," Pascal told Vanity Fair. "I would do anything with Drew Goddard. I'm just waiting for him to tell me he wants to."

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

What other characters do you hope to see pop up in Spidey 3? Let us know your thoughts either in the comments section or by hitting our writer @AdamBarnhardt up on Twitter to chat all things MCU!