Longtime Spider-Man fans are familiar with the complicated history of Ned Leeds, and now movie fans will also get their chance to be acquainted with the character.
Jacob Batalon is playing the longtime Spider-Man supporting character in the upcoming Marvel/Sony co-produced film. Batalon's character was previously revealed as "Ned," and long rumored to be Leeds, a rumor the actor himself recently confirmed to Hawaii-based KHON2 News.
Ned Leeds has played many roles in the ongoing "Spider-Man" comics. He first appeared as a co-worker to Peter Park at the Daily Bugle, but was eventually brainwashed into becoming a criminal mastermind, teaming with the son of the Kingpin and taking on the villainous identity of the Hobgoblin. Leeds also married Betty Brant, the secretary at the Bugle, but his instability and villainous tendencies drove her into the arms of Flash Thompson, Peter Parker's high school bully (who himself became the heroic Agent Venom).
That's a lot of history for one movie, and considering "Homecoming" is keeping Peter and his supporting cast in high school, it's unlikely that it will mine much, if any, of it for the film's story. This version of Ned looks likely to stay much more grounded. "I play Peter Parker's best friend in the film," Batalon said. "We are both in high school; we are about fifteen. And it's just about Peter dealing with being a superhero and going through puberty. He still has to worry about homework; he still has to worry about his crush liking him, while trying to save someone who's probably in a burning building. He can't tell anyone because he's not the cool kid, so he's just stuck with this really cool life that he can't tell anyone about."
Still, there's a lot of potential for future films, and now that Spider-Man is back in the MCU, we can be sure movies are being crafted with sequels in mind; Tom Holland is contracted for a total of six movies, four of which will come after "Homecoming" has wrapped. Hobgoblin is a cool villain who hasn't made an appearance in an live-action movie yet, so Spidey fans will have to keep their eyes peeled for rumors and Easter eggs.
Directed by Jon Watts, “Spider-Man: Homecoming" stars an enormous ensemble cast including Tom Holland as Peter Parker, Robert Downey Jr. as Tony Stark, Marisa Tomei as May Parker and Jon Favreau as Happy Hogan, joined by Michael Keaton, Zendaya, Tony Revolori, Jacob Batalon, Laura Harrier, Donald Glover, Tyne Daly, Michael Barbieri, Hannibal Buress, Bokeem Woodbine, Michael Chernus and Logan Marshall-Green. The film opens July 7, 2017.
Via Comic Book Movie.