WARNING: The following article contains spoilers for Spider-Man: Far From Home, in theaters now.
Introduced in 1964 by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko in The Amazing Spider-Man #13, Mysterio is one of the web-slinger's oldest foes, and was even a founding member of the Sinister Six. Spider-Man: Far From Home marks both the character's live-action debut and his introduction into the Marvel Cinematic Universe, with a twist: Jake Gyllenhaal's Quentin Beck claims to be a superhero from a parallel world, and becomes a sort of mentor to Peter Parker as he mourns the death of Tony Stark. Or so it seems.
Ultimately, Beck is revealed to be a disgruntled former Stark Industries employee, fired for instability after believing Tony misused his cutting-edge holographic technology. Teaming with another ex-Stark employee, Beck created the Mysterio persona to take advantage of the chaos following the events of Avengers: Endgame by posing as a new superhero. In an interview with CBR, Far From Home screenwriters Chris McKenna and Erik Sommers reveal why they felt Mysterio was the perfect villain for the film, and what he represents at this stage in Peter's journey.
"We asked ourselves [why we why chose Mysterio] for months," McKenna admitted. "He's so iconic and such a challenge to write with the illusions. Thematically, he represents deception and illusion, and so much of the film has Peter lying to himself, while the world [after the events of Endgame] would be in such chaos people would be willing to believe in anything."
"After everyone Blipped back, the whole world would just be so dazed and confused and vulnerable, including Peter," Sommers said. "Mysterio [felt like the best choice] to take advantage of that."
For inspiration, McKenna and Sommers looked to Mysteriou's earliest comic book appearances, and, in earlier drafts of the script, introduced Quentin Beck as more of a traditional con artist than a new figure posing as a superhero from an alternate reality. They ultimately settled on him as someone who hoodwinked Nick Fury into working with him.
"We went back to the original comics and the script became more of a con man story," McKenna said. "He was originally a mysterious figure that Peter and Nick were investigating. Then, as we started to develop the story, it all just clicked that he would be working with Nick instead."
McKenna and Sommers were aware comic book-savvy viewers would immediately suspect Mysterio's claims about being a hero from an unseen multiverse, so they positioned the character to serve as a potential new father figure to Peter. Even so, both writers were anxious to see how the villain and story would be received.
"We are so relieved that people seem to love Mysterio and the whole multiverse twist, whether is was fans that saw the twist coming and still loved it or audiences that were completely surprised by it," McKenna said. "And we love Jake's performance. The whole thing doesn't work without him really selling it."
Directed by 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.