WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Spider-Man: Far From Home, in theaters now.
Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal) is initially set up in Spider-Man: Far From Home as a new hero. An interdimensional survivor of a destroyed world, Mysterio presents himself as the latest and greatest superhero within the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Except, he's not. Eventually revealed to be a fraud using hologram technology to create fake monsters to fight, Mysterio turns out to not be all that dissimilar to his comics counterpart.
Still, the version of the character introduced feels like a wholly unique take on the villain. Here's how the MCU Mysterio compares to his Marvel comics' iteration.
MASTER OF ILLUSION
Although he initially presents himself as a hero, Mysterio is revealed to be the newest villain for Spider-Man (Tom Holland). This actually mimics the first Mysterio appearance in the comics. Even his "from another reality" explanation is a reference to newer comics' continuity. Ultimate Mysterio was revealed to be the mainline Mysterio, using an avatar in another universe to try and fake his place in that world. All of his abilities are also revealed to be just illusions, much like the original version of the character. Although the source of his illusions is different than in the comics, they have a similar effect over the course of the film to the kind of illusions he uses in the comics.
While the MCU Mysterio isn't connected to the film industry like his original version, he does act like he is. This version of Mysterio operates like a director of a major motion picture. He compliments his crew when they succeed, but he can be short-tempered and controlling. Although his comics counterpart wasn't a film director, it's still a nice way to reference his original origins without becoming too dated in the process.
ANOTHER CASUALTY OF TONY STARK
Unlike the comics, Quentin Beck isn't just a former special effects guru who broke bad. Instead, he was one of the many inventors who worked for Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr,) and his company. In fact, audiences have seen his work in the past. He's actually the scientist who created the hologram technology used by Tony Stark back in Captain America: Civil War. Enraged that Stark would so flippantly dismiss this revolutionary tech by titling it BARF, Beck fostered a grudge against him. He was fired for being "unstable," leading to him devising a scheme to steal Stark's glory after his death in Avengers: Endgame.
He's not alone on this crusade, either. Unlike other versions of Mysterio who relies on grunts if and when he needs them, the MCU version actually works with complete support staff. Each of them are also embittered former employees of Stark, who use their own expertise to help sell the Mysterio ruse.
It's ultimately not just Beck who is faking his attacks, but an entire group of people who make Mysterio a reality. But the biggest obvious change is that at the end of the story, Mysterio apparently dies. Turning off the safeguards on the Stark drones in an attempt to kill Spider-Man, Mysterio is caught in the crossfire and is himself fatally wounded. EDITH seems to confirm as such, telling Peter that his lifeless body isn't an illusion.
SO... IS HE REALLY GONE?
The comics version of Mysterio did, in fact, die after the Daredevil storyline "Guardian Angel," after shooting himself in the head. The way the MCU Mysterio goes out references this with his apparent death here. But that seems like it would be a huge waste of potential. Gyllenhaal is fantastic in the part, and it would be a shame if he didn't get more time to mess around as a hammy villain to Spider-Man.
He even proves to be consistently more threatening than his more dorky moments would suggest, at one point complaining about how he doesn't want to do anything bad to anyone before literally leading Spider-Man into the way of an oncoming train.
This is Mysterio, though. Creating illusions to fool his enemies is signature move. There's always a chance that he could be tricking Peter one more time. He never technically lost admin powers over EDITH, so he could have instructed the program to lie to Peter in the event of his loss. Lying is, after all, his whole deal. This could easily just be Mysterio faking his own death, allowing him a possible return in a future Spider-Man story.
Opening July 2, director Jon Watts’ Spider-Man: Far From Home stars Tom Holland, Samuel L. Jackson, Zendaya, Cobie Smulders, Jon Favreau, JB Smoove, Jacob Batalon and Martin Starr, with Marisa Tomei and Jake Gyllenhaal.