‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’ fan theory predicts the rise of Hobgoblin

Tom Holland Spider-Man
Image via Sony

Ever since Jacob Batalon’s Ned Leeds was introduced in Spider-Man: Homecoming, fans have been expecting Peter Parker’s best pal to break bad and become the Hobgoblin like in the comics. Well, three movies in, and we’re still waiting. Spider-Man: No Way Home has five villains causing havoc as it is, so it seems unlikely there’s room for Hobgoblin in this one either. But maybe the threequel could set the stage for his transformation in the next movie.

That’s what this thorough fan theory suggests could happen, anyway. As shared by user u/TheMediocreCritic on the r/FanTheories subreddit, this theory is inspired by a climactic scene that’s been teased in the trailers. The villains will endanger Peter’s girlfriend MJ by throwing her from a great height (sounds familiar). Ned is shown to be involved in this scene as well, so what if the villains actually force Peter to choose between his girlfriend and best friend?

The theorist pitches that Peter will choose MJ, causing the webhead to deal with the devastating loss of Ned and his role in it. However, maybe Ned survives and Peter’s decision to let him die, plus some added brainwashing, means he comes back in Spider-Man 4 as the Hobgoblin. Read the full theory via the post below:

Obviously, fans are eager to see Hobgoblin enter the fray, and this theory would be a neat way of making Ned’s turn happen in the most heartbreaking, darkest way possible. It would also be interesting if he was the first villain Peter was responsible for creating, to contrast with the Iron Man-hating foes who’ve come before and also marking the series assuming a more mature tone. Likewise, having Hobgoblin following Willem Dafoe’s Green Goblin would make sense, as Ned could be inspired by Norman Osborn’s look and schtick.

What do you think of this theory? Could Spider-Man: No Way Home tease Ned becoming Hobgoblin when it arrives next Friday, Dec. 17? Join the conversation in the comments.