If I’ve got one spoiler-filled complaint about Spider-Man: Far From Home, it’s the apparent death of Jake Gyllenhaal’s villainous Quentin Beck. Though he didn’t have the most original motivation, Beck’s Mysterio was one of the most visually interesting and sickeningly cruel antagonists within the MCU to date. Considering Peter Parker’s affinity for not killing, it looked like Gyllenhaal was going to have a long working relationship with Marvel Studios, but then Beck’s arrogance gets the best of him and he winds up getting himself killed.
Jump ahead a few minutes in the film’s runtime, and we’re treated with a very shocking mid-credits scene, which finds J. Jonah Jameson – the always impressive J.K. Simmons – falling hook, line, and sinker for Mysterio’s final illusion: a cleverly edited video that reveals Spider-Man’s secret identity and blames him for Beck’s death.
While speaking to ComicBook.com, Gyllenhaal had quite a bit to say about his character’s impetus in that final scene, and what it will mean for our titular teenage hero going forward:
“Well, I just love great endings that refer back to other great endings. The first movie [Homecoming] was great like that, too. I also love the end of Prisoners. I love those kind of cliffhanger moments. So often, we’re used to the same structure, particularly in very large movies, and it takes a lot of courage to leave on those kinds of cliffhangers. The way I look at it is twofold: Mysterio exists as someone to teach Peter Parker a lesson. In my opinion, there’s no use for just a straight-up bad guy unless there’s a lesson to be learned. And the lesson, particularly for Peter, is what is growing up for real…
As an audience member, not as the person who played Mysterio, I believe in Peter Parker, and I believe in Spider-Man, his power and how strong he is. What Mysterio reveals will end up helping Peter, somewhere. He’ll learn from it, and those are the best characters. The characters who teach our heroes a lesson don’t always have to be like Obi-Wan.”
Leave it to Jake Gyllenhaal of all people to find an accurate comparison between an ostentatious Spider-Man villain and a stoic Jedi master, but he has a bit of a point. Even though he says Mysterio isn’t exactly like Obi-Wan, both characters’ deaths have a lasting effect on their franchise’s young protagonist, forcing these kids to grow up and face real world concerns, no matter how fantastical they might be.
While we don’t know what the sequel to Spider-Man: Far From Home has in store for Peter (or when it’ll even come out), we know it’ll look at a side of the character never before seen on the big screen. Every live action adaptation of the hero prior to this has made his secret identity a plot point to some extent, so taking it out of the picture will surely put some sort of fresh spin on the next story. After all, Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige has said as much.