Mysterio: 20 Things MCU Fans Should Know About Spider-Man's Next Rumored On-Screen Villain

Spider-Man has had a successful rebranding under the Marvel Cinematic Universe banner thanks to the critically beloved Spider-Man: Homecoming, and fans are hotly anticipating the sequel slated for 2019, especially following the events of Avengers: Infinity War. While the next Spidey sequel is yet to be given an official title, early reports are telling us that Sony and Marvel already have an official villain in mind, and he just might be played by Jake Gyllenhaal.

Several major news outlets are currently reporting that the Oscar nominated actor currently in early negotiations to play the main villain for the next instalment in the Spider-Man franchise, and that villain is speculated to be Mysterio. Fans have long hoped to see Gyllenhaal attach his name to a superhero movie for years now -- both as a superhero and a supervillain, depending on the character -- but this rumor in particular has fans curious to see what's next, especially since the villain isn't too well-known. This makes sense, considering that the character has yet to be adapted in live-action form, and has only adapted from the comics to cartoons and video games. For those dying to know who Mysterio is -- whether he ends up being played by Jake Gyllenhaal or not -- look no further.


One of the allures behind Jake Gyllenhaal's possible impending role as Mysterio is that there are multiple versions of the character out there that he could be playing. Not only is there more than one Mysterio in Spider-Man canon, but each of these Mysterios have their own unique set of powers. The original Mysterio was none other than Quentin Beck and whenever he donned his classic (and instantly recognizable) green-scaled suit equipped with an elegant purple cape and a helmet that suspiciously resembles a fish bowl, he had a a wide assortment of gadgets attached to his suit that allow for him to commit to an astounding number of high tech counterattacks against even the toughest of foes, including Spider-Man.

This version of Mysterio's most valuable asset has proven to be his ability to shapeshift using holograms.

The second version of Mysterio -- Daniel Berkhart -- had a gadget-heavy suit similar to Beck's, only his was apparently faster and more powerful than that of the former Myserio. Then, there is the third Mysterio, a role filled out proudly by Francis Klum, who unlike the last two Mysterios is a mutant who can control people's bodies who can get people to do whatever he wants without controlling their mind.


Jake Gyllenhaal in Nightcrawler

Jake Gyllenhaal has often been the subject of dream fan castings in the past from people who also hoped that he would one day make an appearance in a superhero movie, or at least some kind of comic book adaptation -- something that he has yet to do up to this very day. People have wanted him to star as various comic book characters like Batman and The Joker, but if recent reports about him taking on the role of Mysterio in the next Spider-Man film are true, fans may finally get to see Gyllenhaal in a comic book adaptation.

Gyllenhaal being included in a superhero movie always felt more like a matter of "when" rather than a matter of "if." Years prior, we almost nearly saw Gyllenhaal play Spider-Man back in the early '00s. After Tobey Maguire had received $5 million for the first Spidey flick, he tried to negotiate for more money for the sequel. After receiving a note from Maguire's doctor that he had injured his back after filming Spider-Man and Seabiscuit back to back, Sony believed Maguire was playing hardball for more money, they fired him and had a meeting with Gyllenhaal to replace him. Maguire wound up apologizing and returning for the sequel, but if Gyllenhaal's really joining the Spidey franchise now, then it all worked out in the end.


Similar to The Vulture in Spider-Man: Homecoming, Mysterio is not a mutant or a superpowered being -- well, at least the Quentin Beck version of the character isn't a mutant -- but he merely gets his powers from his high tech suit. Due to his background in the Hollywood limelight, he has knowledge on how to design stage illusions and special effects. Beck also happens to be a magician, an amateur chemist, and an expert in building robotics. When he decided to endeavor on a career in crime, Beck put all of this knowledge into creating his now iconic high tech suit.

He equipped this suit with all sorts of gadgets that are useful in times of combat.

His magnetic boots allow him to spring into the air at high leaps and bounds, as well as allow him to cling to walls like Spider-Man. Those same boots, along with his wrists, can release a shroud of smoke to shield his movements. His helmet can release holographic images, deadly paralyzing gases, and gases that can make people hallucinate. The helmet also has an air supply to protect him from his own gases. And his purple cape -- more than a fashion statement of style and grace -- has coils which electrocute those who touch it. And as a former stunt man, he can match Spider-Man in hand to hand combat.


If Mysterio does wind up going toe to toe with Spider-Man in the next Spidey instalment of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, he will most certainly be a villain who will give the wallcrawler a run for his money. This is namely due to his countless number of gadgets, including one important piece of technology that could prove to be one of the most difficult things for Peter to counter. This piece of tech allows Mysterio to exude an aroma of gas from his helmet that can dull and inhibit Spider-Man's spidey sense for up to 30 minutes. Mysterio also has an abrasive that he can use to eat away at and eventually destroy Spider-Man's sticky webbing.

Spidey sense is what has helped Spider-Man get out of some of the stickiest jams and obstacles that he was unlucky enough to find himself in, so gadgets like these for Mysterio can add some intriguing drama to the story of the next Spider-Man sequel. Something like this could force Spider-Man to use his wits and plan things out -- similar to the climax of Spider-Man: Homecoming -- rather than rely heavily on his spider sense to have his back in the middle of a fight.


As Harvey Dent once said, "you either die a hero, or you live long enough to see yourself become the villain." Well, Mr. Quentin Beck completely skipped the hero stage and has appeared in various comic books as a supervillain ever since he was first introduced to us. Quentin Beck has quite the unique origin story, albeit arguably a bit of a superficial one in comparison to what we normally read about. Making his debut way back in Amazing Spider-Man issue #13, Beck is, among many things a stunt man and a special effects supervisor.

At this point in his career, he reaches a roadblock in his time as a special effects wizard, and he decides to transition his energy into being an actor.

All of this doesn't work out as well as he hoped it would, and he essentially falls flat on his face. With his hopes of being a world famous actor dashed in half, a friend jokingly quips to Beck that maybe he should invest into making a costume and becoming a superhero if he wants to be famous so badly. Beck takes this joke to heart, only instead of a hero, he decides instead to become a supervillain and thus, Mysterio was born to the world.


Mysterio's first official expedition as a villain saw him frame Spider-Man for a heinous crime -- immediately making an impact in his arrival into Spidey canon. Mysterio made everyone think that Spider-Man had robbed the lucrative Midtown Museum (just one in actually a long list of other famous and expensive establishments), when in reality, it was he himself who robbed the museum. Not only did Mysterio have everyone in New York fooled, he had Spider-Man himself fooled as well, making the webslinger believe that he had a split personality disorder and one of those personalities had suddenly become both a villain and a bank robber.

Spidey even starts seeing a psychiatrist, until he realizes it could compromise his secret identity. This is when Mysterio makes his first public appearance, masquerading as a crime fighter promising to bring Spider-Man to justice for all the robberies. Spider-Man tracks Mysterio down to his secret lair, where he admits to framing Spider-Man and reproducing his artificial webbing to do so. Spider-Man records this conversation to clear his name, and Mysterio goes to jail. Now a prisoner with his reputation tarnished, Mysterio wants revenge, and does so by joining the Sinister Six as one of the group's founding members.


Mysterio has often used his skills as an actor and special effects expert to masquerade as other people, making something of a professional master of disguise. After all, he made his debut in the comic books by impersonating Spider-Man, with help from an artificial substance similar to webbing to make people think that he was the real deal. He does something similar in the Spider-Man video game (titled under the same name) that was released for the PS1 back in 2000. The plot of the game focused on Spider-Man trying to clear his name after an imposter doppelganger Spider-Man stole a device created by the newly reformed Dr. Otto Octavius during its televised unveiling at a science expo.

After rummaging through the Daily Bugle, Spider-Man discovers his doppelganger, and that imposter turns out to be none other than Mysterio.

After Spider-Man defeats him, Mysterio reveals that he is only one part of a bigger plan alongside Doc Ock and Carnage to infest New York City with symbiotes. By the end of the game, Spider-Man defeats them all and thwarts the grand plan with help from Venom, Black Cat, The Punisher, and Captain America. Mysterio and the rest of the villains are then sent straight to prison, and Spidey's good boy reputation is restored.


One of the benefits of all of Marvel's superheroes living under a shared universe, is that it leads to all types of opportunities for different heroes and villains to cross paths with each other. While Mysterio has spent most of Marvel canon facing off against Spider-Man, he has tussled with some other superheroes. Most notably, he crossed paths with Daredevil during the "Guardian Devil" arc, a storyline that helped revitalize the normally wacky villain into a more serious, complex light.

During his latest stint in prison, Quentin Beck was given an early release after being diagnosed with lung cancer and a brain tumor caused by the chemicals and gases kept sealed in his helmet. In hopes of going out in a grand blaze of glory, he targets Dardevil and tries to make him go insane through a special drug that made a hallucinating Daredevil volatile. After Dr. Strange removed the drug from his bloodstream, Daredevil went straight for Mysterio. Mysterio expected Daredevil to put an end to him, but instead, he dismissed the villain's plan as a "basic B-movie plot," and was unoriginal. Mentally broken from the verbal beating, Mysterio's next plan is to steal a plot from Kraven, which involved shooting himself in the head.


The last time we saw Quentin Beck in the role of Mysterio, he put a gun in his mouth and pulled the trigger. Although Mysterio had been known to fake his death in the past, it turned out that this was no trick, and Beck was as good as dead. In Friendly Neighborhood Spider-Man Vol. 1 issues 11-13, Quentin Beck makes a dramatic entrance and return from the dead -- one fitting of a wannabe Hollywood actor. During a threeway battle between Spider-Man, Francis Klum, and Daniel Berkhart (the latter two being direct successors to Beck as Mysterio), Beck appears in a dark red variation of his Mysterio costume and briefly confronts Klum.

He tells him that he must defeat Berkhart (Beck's old apprentice) to prove himself worthy of the Mysterio pseudonym.

Beck then has a meeting with Miss Arrow, where he reveals that half of his head his missing after he last shot himself and also states hat he went to Hell after his death, but was brought back to earth by his "superiors" to ensue that a cosmic balance was adhered to. His superiors want Arrow to know they have plans for her too, and they want her to make sure Spider-Man keeps working at Midtown High School. Afterwards, Beck vanishes.


In Amazing Spider-Man issue #141, Daniel Berkhart makes his comic book debut. At this point, Quentin Beck -- the original Mysterio -- had supposedly died in prison, but despite news of this "death", Mysterio suddenly starts appearing back in the streets committing crimes of all kinds. Beck's return from the dead left everyone -- especially Spider-Man -- scratching their heads and wondering how this could be. But this Mysterio is later revealed to be Berkhart, an old cellmate of Beck's who gets hired by J. Jonah Jameson to try to trick Spider-Man into thinking Beck came back from the dead as a ghost just to mess with Spidey.

When Jameson abandoned Berkhart after his prison sentence, Berkhart wanted revenge. After aligning himself with Norman Osborn and Beck's cousin, Maguire (who provides Berkhart with his cousin's tech), he becomes a new supervillain called Mad Jack. As Mad Jack, he beats Jameson to a pulp and blackmails him into selling the Daily Bugle to Osborn. When Spider-Man catches onto their scheme, they fake the death of Mad Jack, and Berkhart would from then on opt to honor the memory of Quentin Beck by sporting his costume to officially become the new Mysterio. While Mysterio was being reborn, Maguire was captured as Mad Jack.


Mysterio illusion

While Daniel Berkhart became the heir to the name of Mysterio after donning Quentin Beck's original costume, there was actually a spare costume of Beck's still out there in the world. Berkhart actually sold that spare costume to Kingpin for a quick buck, but in turn, Kingpin wanted to make a quick buck of his own.

He auctioned the costume off to a Mr. Francis Klum who, unlike the previous Mysterios, is a mutant with his own superpower of teleportation.

Before arriving on the Kingpin's door step to by the Mysterio suit, Klum was abused by his older brother -- Garrison -- and forced to help him commit illegal crimes as a dealer. This persisted until Garrison gave Black Cat a lethal dosage with hopes to do nasty things to her, but before he had the chance, Berkhart stopped him. And by stopped, we mean he stopped his brother to a "permanent" end, with no hopes of ever coming back. After hearing Berkhart's story, Black Cat nearly convinces him to turn himself in, but under the impression Berkhart was going to harm Black Cat, Spider-Man attacks him. For revenge, Berkhart dons Mysterio's costume to throw Spidey off his game. His plan to defeat Spider-Man is thrawted when Miss Arrow stabs Berkhart through the chest.


Looking back at how Francis Klum's origin story played out, the title of this makes it seem like we got some names mixed up or we accidentally repeated the same entry twice with two different names, but no, Klum and Mysterion actually have a similar origin story -- at least when it comes to how they both acquired the original Mysterio suit into their possession. While this version of Mysterio remains mostly unknown, as far as his actual birth name is concerned, but what we do know is that this man is of African American descent and, in a move similar to Francis Klum buying a spare Mysterio suit from the Kingpin, this anonymous man managed to find a way to buy the original Mysterio suit from Roderick Kingsley.

This man uses the suit to rob banks and to take on the Superior Spider-Man -- which is actually Doc Ock in Spider-Man's body, for anyone who doesn't know about what happened during all of that -- and The Punisher. The Superior Spider-Man captures Mysterion, and keeps him held hostage in a hidden underwater lab. He then puts Mysterion under mind control to force him to join his Superior Six superhero team, but Mysterion eventually escapes along with all of the other members.


Kingpin has always been treated and looked at as one of the baddest dudes in the entire Marvel universe. He is a mafia boss who is hard enough to touch thanks to his mob connections, and if someone does have a chance, however minor, to get their hands on Kingpin, they are not likely to walk away from the ordeal thanks to Kingpin's gargantuan size and freakish natural brute strength. Not many people in Marvel canon can admit to putting out a successful hit out on Kingpin's head, but believe it or not, one of those happy few happen to be none other than Mysterio.

The deed is done by Mysterio in Ultimate Comics Spider-Man issue #1.

At this point in time, the Ultimatum wave had just finished and all of the Kingpin's records had been wiped. Kingpin hoped to use the opportunity to restart his crime business, but he is soon met by an energy blast from Mysterio that launches Kingpin several stories out of a window out of his own building. The news media mistakenly rule the Kingpin's plummet as a self inflicted one, but of course -- because Mysterio wants nothing more than credit and world renowned fame -- he posts an online video of himself admitting to ending the Kingpin's life.


Mysterio's skilled illusions and hallucinations have fooled many a civilian and superhero in Marvel canon, and more often than not, that person just happens to be Spider-Man since he is usually taking on the friendly neighborhood webslinger. However, one of his most memorable and deathly cruel tricks that Mysterio ever pulled was against the famous X-Man, Wolverine. In an alternate future depicted in the "Old Man Logan" storyline, Mysterio -- which, for the record, is the Francis Klum version of Mysterio -- casts an illusion that tricks Wolverine into massacring every single member of the X-Men.

This illusion in particular made Wolverine mistake his friends and allies within the X-Men for being longtime rivals, foes, and mortal enemies. And with all of the X-Men gone, this allows the Red Skull's alliance of villains to conquer America, reducing the land into an apocalyptic wasteland. The whole ordeal left Wolverine emotionally and mentally shattered to the point that he spent many decades vowing to never fight or use his claws ever again. And to think, all of this damage was caused by none other than Mysterio of all people. Surely, this one move should cement Klum as the most dastardly villain to ever adopt to alias of Mysterio.


In a rarity, Mysterio actually crossed different universes within Marvel's canon. Quentin Beck flipped and flopped between the mainstream Earth-616 universe and the Ultimate Marvel universe. This special brand of cross branding first happened during the "Spider-Men" storyline. When Peter Parker travels to the Ultimate Universe to track Mysterio down, it is revealed that Mysterio's Ultimate counterpart is merely an android avatar created by him and who he controls remotely. He sends the android to attack both the Peter Parker version of Spider-Man and the Miles Morales version of Spider-Man, and in a fight against their greatest foes, Parker is able to destroy the avatar.

Before he can face justice for his crimes, Mysterio escapes the Ultimate universe, leaving Peter Parker in a universe where he is dead.

Mysterio procrastinates destroying the portal back to Earth-616 because he cannot resist the urge to check on the peril his rival is facing. This leaves open an opportunity for Parker to travel back through the portal and along with The Ultimates capture Mysterio. They decide to hold Mysterio as a prisoner in the Ultimate Universe since he knows the secret identity of Peter Parker, and that knowledge is too dangerous to hold in his own universe.


The second time that Hollywood tried to adapt the Spider-Man character into a franchise player, it was through The Amazing Spider-Man franchise which starred Andrew Garfield as the title character. Sony had plenty of expectations for this franchise, to the point that they already had several films planned in a series, including spin-off films centering around some of Spider-Man's most conniving and dangerous villains. Such spin-off films included those centered around Venom (which we are getting this year, although with no connection to the Andrew Garfield franchise or possibly even the Tom Holland one) and the Sinister Six.

To set up for the latter film, Green Goblin, Electro, and Rhino all made appearances in The Amazing Spider-Man 2, and the film also included references to other villains, like Doc Ock and The Vulture. While plans for this franchise's Sinister Six movie got cancelled along with the rest of the franchise, there is still a chance we can get a Sinister Six movie in some way or another. Although the MCU isn't known for making movies with villains as the lead, Sony could venture into a villainous franchise starring some of Spidey's biggest threats -- Suicide Squad is proof that people don't mind cheering on the bad guys sometimes (no matter how bad the final product is).


For those who are just dying to find some more hope that we could still get a Sinister Six movie one day, keep in mind that ever since the Sinister Six were first officially formed in the pages of Marvel Comics in 1964, The Vulture and Mysterio were two of the team's original members. For those still scratching their heads still trying to figure out just why this seemingly useless bit of information is so important, also keep in mind that Mysterio is a character who is rumored to appear in the next Spider-Man film, played by Jake Gyllenhaal.

We don't need to remind you that The Vulture was the villain in the first MCU Spider-Man filmed and played by Michael Keaton, who is set to reprise his role in the upcoming sequel.

Coincidence? We think not. In fact, we think that The Vulture and Mysterio could possibly cross paths in the next film, get all buddy buddy with each other, and plant the early seeds for the Sinister Six to be introduced into the canon of the Spider-Man corner of the vast Marvel Cinematic Universe -- it would certainly be a smart way to build anticipation for any potential Sinister Six film.


Later this year, we will be seeing Sony make a risky move by centering their next comic book adaptation not on a superhero, but on a villain-turned-sometimes-hero in Venom, whose movie is set to release later this year. If Venom proves to be a rousing success, this might not be the last supervillain centered flick coming out of the Spider-Man universe. In fact, rumors and speculation across the web last summer tell us that Sony also has (or maybe had?) plans to make solo movies for other supervillains, including Kraven the Hunter and Mysterio.

These rumors have been supported in a profile piece by The Hollywood Reporter on Sony CEO Tom Rothman. Rothman also revealed that the grand plan from Sony to release all of these supervillain projects is to gradually build up the Spider-Man universe in order to eventually also build to a Sinister Six movie. That is a lot of long term planning to commit to and Sony could easily change their minds between now and by time it is time to actually start production on a Mysterio movie, but just the idea that we could one day get a Mysterio movie starring Jake Gyllenhaal in the title role is something we could be looking forward to.


Whether or not it is true that Marvel and Sony have plans to bring Mysterio to a theater near us in the upcoming future, this would not mark the first time that Hollywood tried to bring Mysterio to the big screen. Back when Sam Raimi was still running the Spider-Man franchise in the early and mid-'00s, original plans would have seen Mysterio and The Vulture introduced to the franchise in Spider-Man 4.

Unfortunately, we don't have to tell you about how bad Spider-Man 3 did, leading Sony to completely reboot the franchise and character.

Concept images created by illustrator Jeffrey Henderson seem to confirm this, but there is one notable thing that is even more intriguing than the prospect of Mysterio in a Spidey film -- Mysterio was supposed to be played by none other than Bruce Campbell.The B movie icon was a consistent highlight throughout each film, thanks to his cameos as random characters. Had Spider-Man 4 seen the light of day, the film would have revealed that these cameos were not actually random, but instead they were all Quentin Beck in disguise. When he first released his concept images in 2016, Henderson also confirmed this reveal to be something that was actually in the film production's plans.


Ever since he first made his debut in Marvel comics back in 1964, Mysterio paved a road of destruction as a supervillain, but everyone has a road that must eventually end. Mysterio's road came was a bumpy one full of bad choices and defeats at the hands of heroes such as Spider-Man and Daredevil, but he proved there's also an option C at the end of the yellow brick road for supervillains. That option being live to be a villain, but retire as a completely reformed man, and that's exactly what Quentin Beck does.

As Mysterio, Beck's final mission as a villain saw him defeated by the likes of Deadpool and Spider-Man during the aftermath of "Secret Wars". Following the ordeal, he retires, and relocates to Las Vegas with no urge to return to his former life of crime. His own daughter, Misty, even visits him one day to try to convince him to become Mysterio again. He declines, and after all the chaos he lived through (some of which he caused), he just wants to live a quiet life. Perhaps this is how the movie Mysterio will end up when all is said and done, but we just hope that should Gyllenhaal end up playing the villain, he does the character justice.

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