Spider-Man: Far From Home has finally brought the fishbowl-headed villain Mysterio to the big screen. While Jake Gyllenhaal's performance has entertained long-time fans of the character, Mysterio might have been intended for a far earlier appearance, if rumors are to be believed.
Sam Raimi planned to introduce Mysterio in Spider-Man 4, with him presumably being played by Bruce Campbell. However, recent rumors springing from a tie-in toy speculate Raimi might've planned to actually introduce the villain in Spider-Man 3. Is there any truth to this rumor?
The rumor started thanks to a user posting an obscure Mysterio figure on eBay that was sold as promotional material for Spider-Man 3.
The existence of this figure is not too unusual. After all, there are several types of figures sold in conjunction with new film releases, some of them being just extra stuff. There were plenty of action figures sold for Batman films that presented redesigned versions of characters who don't appear in the film.
But there are a few things particularly odd about this figure that makes it worth discussing.
Was Mysterio Going to Appear?
Promotional figures are made sometimes without the creators having any intent of bringing said character into the media the toys are meant to promote. For example, there's a Blair Witch Project figurine showing the Blair Witch. There's a Doctor Claw figurine that shows his face. These things exist.
It's possible that Mysterio was considered as a character for the film at some point. The toy certainly isn't based on Mysterio's design in the Spider-Man 2 video game, so it may be a proposed redesign of the villain that the filmmakers didn't want to go to waste.
Most likely, however, the design was created just to sell more toys. Even the description to the eBay product page seems to indicate this, as it reads, "From 2007’s Spider-Man 3 movie line of action figures, Mysterio. Sure, he wasn’t in the movie but they used it as a good excuse to put out a great line of Spidey figures."
This figure is nothing more than promotional material, although it does look pretty cool.
This is arguably the most interesting aspect of the Mysterio figure: Its design. Production art for Spider-Man 4 indicated Raimi would remain mostly faithful to Mysterio's original look. The cape, fishbowl and scaly green body suit would all be included.
This Mysterio has a gown with a large "M" emblazoned on the front. While he still has a fishbowl, it is see-through, allowing people a glimpse at his face, which best resembles Quan Chi from Mortal Kombat or Marvel's Nathaniel Essex/Mister Sinister. With white skin with a dark symbol emblazoned on his forehead, this haunting look might not match Mysterio, but it captures the feeling of the villain: otherworldly and enigmatic.
Of course, many of Raimi's villains experienced drastic redesigns. Sandman is arguably the only villain to not change massively. During this era, redesigns were not uncommon, as film producers were convinced that audiences couldn't take the colorful superheroes and villains seriously as they appeared on the pages of comics. This is why the X-Men wear leather and why the Green Goblin has never looked like a goblin in live-action.
So this Mysterio might have worked for the film and makes a cool-looking toy, but isn't very faithful or satisfying to fans hoping to see their favorite character make an appearance. Regardless, the figure is still just that: a figure.