Spider-Man: No Way Home sounds like it’s going to be a very busy movie. Right now, we know that the film will feature Benedict Cumberbatch’s Doctor Strange, Jamie Foxx’s Electro, Alfred Molina’s Doctor Octopus, and the core characters from the previous MCU Spidey efforts. Beyond that, it’s strongly rumored that we’ll also see Elizabeth Olsen’s Wanda Maximoff, Willem Dafoe’s Green Goblin and – what everyone’s hoping for – appearances from Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield‘s live-action Spideys.
All that’s a lot to cram into one movie, but there are growing reports that they’ve found room for yet another antagonist, though there’s a tragic twist for Tom Holland and Zendaya’s Peter Parker and MJ. You see, the story is that Jacob Batalon’s loveable Ned Leeds will fall foul of a villain and be transformed into the hideous Hobgoblin.
Ned becoming a bad guy might sound ridiculous, but his comic book counterpart suffered the same fate in Stan Lee’s original stories. This ended tragically, too, as after the brainwashing wore off, he continued to have intermittent unstable episodes, causing him to lose his job and girlfriend, eventually leading to his death.
Adding credence to the rumor are the hints that Batalon has been preparing to tackle Ned’s fall for some time. Fans have noticed he’s noticeably slimmer for the No Way Home shoot, which may indicate he’s got action-orientated scenes to film. In addition, he’s discussed whether he wants Ned to become Hobgoblin, saying:
“To be completely honest, yes. I would love to, I would love to do that. That just sounds like such a fun process as an actor to go through. But at the same time, Ned is just a really sweet guy. I definitely don’t see that in him. But, you know, I’m definitely not saying I couldn’t do it. I could definitely do my best villain. I’d love to.”
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Batalon also indicated that he may have a long-term future in Spider-Man’s rogues gallery, stating:
“[I hope] they’re going to want me to stay on and be part of the Sinister Six. That’s just my theory.”
So, how close are we to an MCU Sinister Six? Well, Michael Keaton’s Vulture is probably locked in, and if Doctor Octopus and Electro stick around, they’d be perfect additions. The Ned Leeds Hobgoblin would also work, but that leaves two vacant slots. If they can get these four established in No Way Home, perhaps the next Spider-Man movie could round out the lineup with MCU takes on Rhino and Sandman?
In any case, we’ll find out what’s in store for us when Spider-Man: No Way Home swings into theaters on December 17th, 2021.