Spider-Man Writers Weighed Mysterio and Rhino Returns in No Way Home

Spider-Man villains from across the Multiverse return in Spider-Man: No Way Home, but the roster is one sinister supervillain short of a Sinister Six. In a new interview, screenwriters Chris McKenna and Erik Sommers reveal they weighed the returns of Rhino (Paul Giamatti) and Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal). His identity revealed in Spider-Man: Far From Home, Peter Parker (Tom Holland) asks Avengers ally Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) to make everyone forget Spider-Man's secret identity. When the botched spell pulls everyone who knows Peter is Spider-Man into the Marvel Cinematic Universe — bringing back villains from the "Raimi-verse" and the "Webb-verse" — Strange struggles to hold back more Multiversal villains like Scorpion and Kraven the Hunter.

Two villains who nearly made it through the rift are Aleksei Sytsevich, Giamatti's Russian gangster in the mechanized rhinoceros suit from 2014's The Amazing Spider-Man 2, and Gyllenhaal's master of illusions Quentin Beck, seemingly killed by a stray bullet in 2019's Far From Home. Recently revealed concept art from No Way Home showed Mysterio dueling Doctor Strange at the retrofitted Statue of Liberty, the first proof of concept of a version where the Spider-Men (Holland, Tobey Maguire, Andrew Garfield) unite against the Sinister Six. 

"Yes, there was [talk of Mysterio or Rhino returns]. Yeah, there was definitely talk, like, 'Who is the Sinister Six here?'" McKenna said on The Q&A with Jeff Goldsmith podcast. "If you want six, you can always say Venom was the sixth [member] if you want. He's in the tag, he made it [into the MCU], but he never made it out of Mexico (laughs). There was always that talk of, 'Should we be doing officially the Six?'"

A humorous mid-credits scene reveals Venom (Tom Hardy) as the unofficial sixth member, and the writers had discussions about including the alien anti-hero from Sony's Spider-Man Universe in the film's final battle

"I think what's so fun about working off the [comic book] canon is you can reinvent, and we know that people know the canon, but maybe everything doesn't line up... was Venom the sixth, or was there someone else lurking?" McKenna said. "Who were some of those shapes in the sky that's coming through?" 

Versions of Mysterio and Rhino do appear as silhouettes in the sky, making blink-and-you'll-miss-it "cameos" alongside other Spider-foes.

In No Way Home, the "Multiverse Men" include the Green Goblin (Spider-Man's Willem Dafoe), Doctor Octopus (Spider-Man 2's Alfred Molina), Sandman (Spider-Man 3's Thomas Haden Church), the Lizard (The Amazing Spider-Man's Rhys Ifans), and Electro (The Amazing Spider-Man 2's Jamie Foxx).

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Spider-Man: No Way Home is now playing exclusively in theaters and will soon be available to own on digital