Monday, May 21, 2018

Jake Gyllenhaal in Talks for Mysterio in SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING Sequel

Spider-Man's world is about to get a lot more mysterious.

Deadline has revealed that actor Jake Gyllenhaal is in talks for the role of lead villain Mysterio in the upcoming Sony Pictures sequel to Spider-Man: HomecomingThe film will once again be directed by Jon Watts and star Tom Holland as Spider-Man, who presumably gets a lot better after the events of Avengers: Infinity War.

Gyllenhaal, 37, is best known as the title character in Donnie Darko, and as Jack Twist in the movie Brokeback Mountain, for which he received an Academy Award nomination for best supporting actor.  His other films include Zodiac, Life, Nightcrawler, Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, Jarhead, The Day After Tomorrow, October Sky, City Slickers, Nocturnal Animals, Demolition, Stronger, and Everest.

Created in 1964 by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko, Mysterio first appeared in The Amazing Spider-Man (vol.1) #13 as Quentin Beck,  a special effects wizard and stuntman working for a major Hollywood studio with dreams of making a name for himself in the film industry. However, he came to see his career in special effects as a dead-end job.  His attempts to become an actor were poorly received, but he realized that his expertise in illusions could make him an effective supervillain.

In his first battle with Spider-Man, after framing Spider-Man for robbing the Midtown Museum, Mysterio obstructed the hero's spider-sense with gas and dissolved Spider-Man's webbing with a chemical abrasive.  However Spider-Man tricked Mysterio into revealing he robbed the museum, then Spider-Man revealed he had captured it on tape.  Mysterio was then jailed, blaming Spider-Man for his ruined career.  Mysterio later joined the Sinister Six in an attempt at revenge on Spider-Man, and battled him using android duplicates of the X-Men.  He battled Spider-Man and joined Doctor Octopus' Sinister Six on several occasions, but this never gave him the edge against his foe that he desired.  Eventually, he began to lose credibility as a supervillain, with his defeat at the hands of preteen superhero team Power Pack being a particularly humiliating moment.

After his final imprisonment during the "Guardian Devil" storyline, Mysterio was given an early release, after being diagnosed with a brain tumor and lung cancer, both caused by the chemicals and radiation from his equipment.  He was given one year to live, but this imminent death caused prison psychiatrists to grant him an early release.  Obsessed with exacting his final revenge on Spider-Man, he was disappointed when he deduced from newspaper articles that the current Spider-Man was just a clone and saw no dignity in overpowering a 'copy' of the real thing (even though by then, the clone had been killed and the current Spider-Man was indeed the original).  Mysterio decided to change his plan and focus on Daredevil, whom he had encountered recently during an insurance scam that the hero had thwarted.

After the Kingpin gave Mysterio all the information he possessed about Daredevil's past, Mysterio developed an elaborate plot to drive Daredevil insane using a special designed drug to influence Daredevil's mood, presenting him with a baby girl and conflicting reports that she was the second coming of Christ or the Antichrist, with the drug rendering Daredevil violent if anyone suggested that the child was innocent.  In the course of the scheme, Karen Page was killed by Bullseye after Mysterio had convinced her that she was suffering from HIV due to her time as a porn star, Matt Murdock's partner Foggy Nelson was framed for murder after cheating on his current lover, and Daredevil nearly lost his mind as he appeared to be tormented by the forces of Hell.  However, Daredevil's will proved stronger than Mysterio expected, and once Doctor Strange discovered and magically removed the drug from Daredevil's bloodstream, Daredevil unmasked Mysterio as the mastermind, shattering the villain's helmet in fury and revealing his now languishing appearance. Beck had thought Daredevil would kill him upon discovery, but Daredevil denied him this and instead dismissed Mysterio's scheme as a basic B-movie plot.  Broken in every sense of the word, Mysterio, saying he was stealing an idea from Kraven the Hunter, pulled out a gun and shot himself dead.  While Mysterio has faked his own death several times in the past, this act was apparently legitimate, as Mysterio literally had nothing left to live for.

Mysterio reappeared during "The Gauntlet" storyline, which reintroduced several past Spider-Man villains with new twists. This Mysterio claimed to be a returned Quentin Beck who had faked his death.  He was under the employ of Maggia crime member Carmine, creating androids of various deceased Maggia (including their dead leader Silvermane) to give them a credibility boost in their gang war with Mister Negative.  He tried to drive Spider-Man mad by making him think he'd accidentally killed several gang members, while trying to convince him that a returned Captain George Stacy, who claimed to have always been the gangster known as the Big Man, also faked his death years earlier.  This made Spider-Man realize that Mysterio was behind the recent mysterious return of so many deceased individuals, and he vowed to have Mysterio pay for making it personal.  Shortly after, Mysterio used the Silvermane robot to murder Carmine in an attempt to secretly seize control of the Maggia and its fortune.  Spider-Man eventually exposed and confronted Mysterio, who fled.

This will be the first time Mysterio will appear in live action, although the character has appeared in various animated projects including the 1960s Spider-Man series (voiced by Chris Wiggins), the 1981 Spider-Man series (voiced by Michael Rye), Spider-Man and His Amazing Friends (voiced by Peter Cullen), Spider-Man: The Animated Series (voiced by Gregg Berger), The Spectacular Spider-Man (voiced by Xander Berekley), and Ultimate Spider-Man (voiced by Paul Scheer).

The untitled sequel to Spider-Man: Homecoming is expected to arrive in theaters on July 5, 2019.

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