Spider-Man‘s buddy Ned is one of the most likeable characters in the MCU. Jacob Batalon knocks his performance out of the park, his happiness at getting to be Spidey’s best friend is infectious and he’s one of the best comic relief sidekicks around. But it seems that Ned could be facing a pretty dark future.
You see, in the original comics, Ned Leeds eventually becomes the villainous Hobgoblin, and according to our sources – the same ones who said Jeremy Renner might be recast as Hawkeye, which trusted insider Daniel RPK recently corroborated – it seems that this sad fate may befall the MCU Ned, too.
Of course, Ned has a very different story in the original comics. Rather than one of Peter’s school friends, he’s a reporter at the Daily Bugle, with both him and Peter competing for the affections of Betty Brant. His dark turn comes when he’s tracking down a story about the mysterious Hobgoblin, only to find himself captured and brainwashed into becoming the new incarnation of the villain. Though he recovers from the initial mind control, he ends up having intermittent unstable episodes, resulting in him losing his job, losing his girlfriend and ending up murdered.
I really hope that doesn’t happen to ‘our’ Ned. If they were to do this plotline, I could imagine a villain brainwashing him and trying to use Ned, but I’d like to think he could make a full recovery rather than seeing his life totally collapse. Who knows, though?
In any case, Batalon has been quizzed in the past about his feelings on Ned’s comic book fate, saying:
That just further validates my theory of Ned becoming Hobgoblin, but hey… But it’d be so great [if] they’re not going to want me to die. [I hope] they’re going to want me to stay on and be part of the Sinister Six. That’s just my theory.
He also expressed his desire to play out the transformation, stating:
“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.”
Let’s hope they can do it in a way that’s not a complete downer. Because it’s that, or Ned’s dead, baby. Ned’s dead.