How Did Jake Gyllenhaal Get Cast As Mysterio in ‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’?

The latest entry in the Marvel Cinematic Universe is Spider-Man: Far From Home. The sequel to 2017’s Spider-Man: Homecoming continues Peter Parker’s story as he and his classmates head on a summer trip to Europe. New cast member Jake Gyllenhaal will also be along for the ride. Here’s what you need to know about his character and how he got the part.

Who does Jake Gyllenhaal play in Spider-Man: Far From Home?

Gyllenhaal portrays Quentin Beck, who Peter meets after Nick Fury brings him into the latest SHIELD mission. Mr. Beck is from a different version of Earth, as Fury explains in the Far From Home trailer. The events of Avengers: Endgame revealed the existence of a multiverse.

Despite their seemingly amicable first encounter, Beck is also (or will become, at some point) Mysterio, a popular villain from the Spider-Man comics. His powers are unique: He’s gifted with magic, hypnotism, and illusions, making him something of a special effects artist.

Here’s how Gyllenhaal scored the role

Actor Jake Gyllenhaal attends the press conference for Spider-Man: Far From Home Seoul premiere on July 01, 2019 in Seoul, South Korea.
Actor Jake Gyllenhaal attends the press conference for Spider-Man: Far From Home Seoul premiere on July 01, 2019 in Seoul, South Korea. | Han Myung-Gu/WireImage

Gyllenhaal has had a very prolific career. Many fans still remember him best from his breakout role in Donnie Darko. Since then, he’s gone on to have many acclaimed performances in films such as Brokeback Mountain, Zodiac, and Nightcrawler

Given his status, it’s not surprising that he was simply offered the role. “I got a call from John Watts, the director, and he was like, ‘hey, we’re doing the next Spider-Man movie,’” said Gyllenhaal in an interview with BuzzFeed. “He just asked me, ‘Do you want to play Mysterio?’ And I was like, ‘What are you going to do with him?’”

He and Tom Holland get along a little too well

For the last month or so, Gyllenhaal has been busy doing press with his co-star, Tom Holland. The two of them seem to get along really well and have a great time together, always making each other laugh. Apparently, it’s been this way since the first days of shooting.

“Tom and I couldn’t stop laughing when we first shake hands in the scene when our characters first meet,” said Gyllenhaal. “Every time I would come in and be like, ‘Hey, how are you? I’m Quentin,’ he would just start laughing and couldn’t stop. It was 40 takes and we couldn’t get it.”

Will Gyllenhaal be in any future Spider-Man or MCU flicks?

Is there a chance that Mysterio will be more than a one-off villain? In many superhero films, the antagonist tends to either reform or be killed/defeated, meaning they don’t appear in the sequel. But Marvel has been doing things differently — Thanos was a long-term villain, Loki sort of went back and forth between good and evil, and even Red Skull wasn’t really gone for good after Captain America: The First Avenger.

So there’s certainly the possibility that Quentin Beck will have a multi-film arc, especially if there’s another Spider-Man film to complete the trilogy. Of course, even if they set him up to return, things can change: Michael Keaton’s Vulture was initially supposed to be in Far From Home, but that didn’t transpire.

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