Why Jake Gyllenhaal Was Drawn to Mysterio and ‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’

Jake Gyllenhaal is well-known for playing oddball characters — internally conflicted, unpredictable men who tend to stray from the beaten path. From Velvet Buzzsaw and Donnie Darko to Nocturnal Animals, he boasts quite a diverse portfolio, yet he has been drawn to the action-oriented, cinematic spectacle side of the coin as well; he starred in Prince of Persia and, more recently, played bad-guy Mysterio in Spider-Man: Far From Home an extension of the expansive Marvel Cinematic Universe. So, why did Jake Gyllenhaal choose to play Mysterio? What about Quentin Beck drew Gyllenhaal into the MCU’s web? 

Jake Gyllenhaal and Tom Holland of 'Spider-Man: Far From Home' Mysterio and Parker
Jake Gyllenhaal and Tom Holland of ‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’ | Jeff Spicer/Getty Images for Sony

Jake Gyllenhaal played a character who, at the start, seemed to be on Spidey’s side. Yet, just like the comic book source material, he turned out to be a deceptive villain. He used his knack for special effects and manipulation to get one over on our friendly neighborhood Spider-Man. In an interview, Gyllenhaal explained the character’s unpredictability and depth as motivating factors in his decision to accept the role. 

Jake Gyllenhaal talks Mysterio and ‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’

Jake Gyllenhaal needs to know — before signing on the dotted line — that a role will push him. He yearns to relate to the character and draw on his established skills as a performer. He explained during an interview why Mysterio fit within his criteria: 

He’s a great character…you know it was one of those things that people have asked me for a number of years, ‘Are you going to do / do you want to do a movie like that, or if you were asked to would you?’ And my response has always been, particularly since being at Sundance [where] so many of the stories [are]…character-driven and that has always been my desire, to find something in that space that seems to match my skill and also what I love and my own honesty. And it just so happened that it does with that part. So, I’m glad that people feel excited about it.

Quoted by MovieWeb

Gyllenhaal explained that, for years, he’s been looking to find something in the superhero film space that aligns with his goals as an actor — matching his skill level and his passions. And, “it just so happened” that Mysterio aligned with Gyllenhaal’s performance objectives. So, people got to see the actor take on a formidable foe and infamous baddie (for a one and done appearance in the web-slingers second solo installment). That is, of course, if he isn’t coming back…

Will Jake Gyllenhaal’s Mysterio return to the MCU? 

Considering rumors have been circling regarding a Sinister Six movie — and taking into account that Mysterio already exists in the franchise — some technological trickery or multiverse magic could either imply he never died or return him to the world of the living.  Mysterio would be an asset as a member of the Sinister Six — comprised of a group of villains all out to dismantle Spidey.

If the MCU moves forward with such a movie, it could provide the basis for a mash-up of multiple villains and superheroes in the MCU, leading to both Mysterio’s and Vulture’s return opposite Tom Holland’s Peter Parker.