Jake Gyllenhaal is following in the footsteps of Willem Dafoe, Alfred Molina, Michael Keaton and many more by signing on to play a Spider-Man villain. Gyllenhaal is in talks to play classic Spidey antagonist Mysterio, per THR, in the Marvel and Sony Pictures sequel to last year’s Spider-Man: Homecoming. This will be the Oscar nominee’s first-ever comic book film role.
The first Homecoming was one of Paste’s top films of 2017, so it’s good news that director Jon Watts, screenwriters Chris McKenna and Erik Sommers, and stars Tom Holland (Peter Parker), Marisa Tomei (Aunt May), Keaton (Vulture) and Zendaya (Michelle) will all return for the sequel. Holland’s Spider-Man recently appeared in Marvel’s massive third Avengers film, Infinity War.
Gyllenhaal has plenty of projects in the hopper at the moment—including Dan Gilroy horror thriller Velvet Buzzsaw, which he’s currently shooting in L.A.—as well as Cary Fukunaga’s Leonard Bernstein biopic The American, Jacques Audiard-directed Western The Sisters Brothers and David Leitch’s The Division adaptation. He also stars in Paul Dano’s directorial debut Wildlife, which just screened at Cannes after premiering at Sundance in January.
First appearing in 1964’s Amazing Spider-Man #13, Mysterio (whose first iteration was born Quentin Beck) is a master of illusions and deception best known for his bubble-esque helmet. The villain has never appeared in a Spider-Man movie, though storyboards shared by artist Jeffrey Henderson in 2016 showed that Mysterio was meant to appear in Sam Raimi’s canceled Spider-Man 4, with Bruce Campbell reportedly tapped to play him. That film was mothballed back in 2010, but now, nearly a decade later, the Master of Illusions’ moment has finally arrived.
Marvel mastermind Kevin Feige promised last summer that Homecoming’s sequel(s) would “explore villains we haven’t seen before,” and Mysterio certainly fits the bill.
The untitled Spider-Man: Homecoming sequel is set for a July 5, 2019 release. There will surely be more casting news to come, so keep those Spidey senses sharp.