Jake Gyllenhaal

5 takeaways from second Spider-Man: Far From Home trailer - After Endgame, who is Mysterio, and can't fool MJ

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The Marvel Cinematic Universe keeps on rolling. Though one stage of Marvel’s superhero epic reached a conclusion of sorts with Avengers: Endgame, the overarching story continues with Peter Parker in Spider-Man: Far From Home. (Technically, Phase 3 of the MCU ends with this film, according to Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige.)

If there was any question of where Far From Home fits in the MCU timeline, the movie’s new trailer makes that clear. (I speculated on the latest Amusement Park Podcast that it must take place between Spider-Man: Homecoming and Avengers: Infinity War, but was obviously wrong.) So clear, in fact, that Tom Holland issues a spoiler warning before the preview begins. If you haven’t seen Endgame, don’t watch this trailer because it gives away a major development from that film, one you won’t want spoiled.

Highlights from Spider-Man: Far From Home trailer - Hey Nick Fury, there's Mysterio, and how many villains are in this?

So we’ll do our best to maintain that secrecy and make sure you go into Endgame fresh, able to enjoy its many surprises. It’s interesting that Marvel would go ahead with this when Endgame has only been in theaters for two weekends. But now we know why directors Joe and Anthony Russo declared that the spoiler ban would be over on Monday (May 6). There’s another movie to promote! And Marvel has about two months before Spider-Man: Far From Home hits theaters on July 2.

It’s been a while since we’ve broken down a trailer with some key takeaways. But it’s also been quite some time since a big trailer debuted to provide that opportunity. (Did we miss the boat on Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker? Maybe, but there wasn’t a whole lot to go on from that teaser.) This second look at Far From Home gives us a whole lot to chew on, so let’s dig in.

(Naturally, we’ll move past the first takeaway since it involves the major spoiler that Tom Holland warns viewers about from the start.)

Do superheroes get vacations?

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One perk of being a costumed crimefighter definitely isn’t paid vacation time. Most of them are too obsessed or dedicated to take time off. Bruce Wayne could take a vacation any time he wants, but Batman is always on watch. (Unless you count trips to the Middle East to take on Ra’s Al Ghul.) Tony Stark would probably take vacations, but he’s probably inventing two or three new Iron Man suits or creating new tech for the Avengers while on the beach with Pepper Potts.

Going on a trip that any high school student would covet, yet having his superhero duties eventually interfere with trying to enjoy himself and become closer with his classmates, is a classic Spider-Man conundrum. Peter Parker doesn’t get to be a regular high school kid. Something about great responsibility that comes with great power? Or Nick Fury stealthily barging into his hotel room…

Peter, meet Quentin

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In its recent summer movie preview, Entertainment Weekly ran a photo of an unmasked Peter Parker and Quentin Beck/Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal) shaking hands that raised many questions among fans. Why would Spider-Man and Mysterio be shaking hands and revealing their secret identities to each other? (This seems even more peculiar for Peter, who has so much more at stake.)

But the new trailer fills in some blanks, revealing that Beck appears to be working with S.H.I.E.L.D. (or whatever agency Nick Fury is in charge of now). But the bigger, more important revelation is that, according to Fury, Beck isn’t of this Earth. Or at least the familiar Earth on which Peter Parker and our favorite cast of characters resides. Thanos’s snap played havoc with whatever walls existed between dimensions, somehow bringing Beck to this Earth.

Is Far From Home opening the door to a multiverse in the Marvel Cinematic Universe? That path already seems to have been opened with the Quantum Realm in the Ant-Man movies and Endgame. Other galaxies and dimensions have been a big part of the MCU with the Thor, Guardians of the Galaxy and Captain Marvel films. Or is this something entirely new?

Who — or what — is Mysterio?

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After the first Far From Home trailer was released, I mentioned that Mysterio’s suit would fit right in on Asgard and his apparent powers resemble Doctor Strange’s. Maybe Beck is the Sorcerer Supreme of his alternate universe or something close to that? Could he be a demi-god of some kind? No need for Thor or Captain Marvel if someone of that power level is around to team up with Spider-Man.

If so, that’s a vast departure from the comic books, in which Beck is a failed stuntman and special effects whiz who uses his expertise and technology to fuel a life of crime. Spidey purists might take some issue with this, but Marvel’s movies have had no issue with veering away from the source material to best suit their stories. And those decisions almost always work out for the best.

Or is this all an elaborate scam — including classic Spidey villains Sandman, Molten Man and Hydro-Man — that Beck is playing on Fury and S.H.I.E.L.D.? That would be more faithful to the character. (Mysterio’s costume, with that distinctive helmet globe, sure is.)

Nothing gets past MJ

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The MCU is taking a much different, fresher angle on Spider-Man mythology. One of the best examples of that is “MJ,” Peter Parker’s love interest (played by Zendaya). The “MJ” isn’t for “Mary Jane,” leaving the door open for Mary Jane Watson if Marvel or Sony ever wants to go there in the future. This MJ is listed as “Michelle Jones” on IMDB and presumably in the film’s credits.

This MJ isn’t an aspiring model or actress, and she’s most certainly not interested in being defined as “the girlfriend” in this narrative or being appreciated solely for her looks. She’s smart, on par with Peter, which makes her amusingly intimidating. She’s also no fool, as revealed in this trailer, when she tells Peter that she knows he’s Spider-Man.

As she points out, wouldn’t it be kind of obvious? In Homecoming, Spider-Man appears in Washington, D.C. when Peter and his classmates are there on a field trip. In Far From Home, Spidey’s friendly neighborhood extends to London while the class is there again. And where is Peter when Spider-Man appears anyway?

Adapting classic comic book stories and narratives into movies often forces a postmodern take on these tales. That sometimes requires pointing out some obvious flaws which end up hurting characters. How could Lois Lane not know Clark Kent is Superman? (Man of Steel took care of that nicely by avoiding the issue entirely.) And how could at least one of Peter’s classmates not figure out that he is Spider-Man? Where Marvel goes with this in future Spidey films, presuming there’s at least one more, could be intriguing.

More Happy Hogan, please

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We don’t ask much from Marvel because they already do such an excellent job of giving us what we want and what we didn’t realize we wanted. But with Disney+ on the way and several Marvel limited TV series soon to come — including shows featuring Loki, Wanda and Vision, and The Falcon and Winter Soldier — how about providing us with the Happy Hogan series that we all want?

(OK, I shouldn’t speak for everyone. Maybe you don’t want a Happy Hogan TV show. But c’mon, think about it. Don’t you really?)

Will Happy get to visit Downton Abbey when he’s in London? We know from Iron Man 3 that he’s a big fan. Sure, this is a Spider-Man movie, but at least give the big guy his moment this time around. He works with Spider-Man, not for Spider-Man, after all.

He’s been a quietly underrated character in the Iron Man movies, upgraded to a more comedic supporting role in the Spider-Man films, and — without giving away spoilers — he also has one of the most touching moments in Avengers: Endgame. He’s the liaison between Tony Stark and Peter Parker, essentially being the surrogate mentor that Tony can’t or doesn’t want to be. He’s slightly miffed at having to be a babysitter because he really wants to be in charge of this high school kid. And we know he has delusions of being a bit more important than he really is.

Jon Favreau is busy with his own Disney+ project, overseeing the Star Wars Mandalorian series for the fledgling streaming provider. And he’s a man in demand, directing big blockbusters like The Jungle Book and The Lion King. But maybe when he’s done with those obligations, there could be some time to give Happy (and Favreau the actor) the showcase that he’s always deserved.

Highlights from Spider-Man: Far From Home trailer - Hey Nick Fury, there's Mysterio, and how many villains are in this?

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According to rumors, we were supposed to get a trailer for Spider-Man: Far From Home in the first week of December, during CCXP in Brazil and shortly after the Avengers: Endgame trailer debuted. That obviously didn’t happen, either because Marvel preferred not to flood the zone with two big trailers in one weekend or because Marvel and Sony didn’t want to draw attention away from Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse by promoting their live-action friendly neighborhood wall-crawler.

But it’s been approximately six weeks now, which is a good distance from those other blockbusters. And Spider-Verse reminded us how special a character Spider-Man is (in several dimensions), presumably increasing anticipation for Tom Holland’s next swing as Peter Parker.

The wait is over! With no advance hype or tease the night before (tactics used for the Captain Marvel previews), Sony and Marvel sprung the first trailer for Far From Home online Tuesday morning.

Good timing, amidst a kind of slow period in comic book and comic book movie culture. The Spider-Man: Far From Home trailer gets the spotlight to itself and with little going on, we’ll all surely examine every second of this nearly three-minute preview.

As we like to do for big trailers (especially for superhero movies), here are some takeaways from this first look at the next Spider-Man big-screen adventure:

Aunt May is cool with Spider-Man

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Spider-Man: Homecoming ended with the surprising and hilarious moment of Peter Parker’s Aunt May (Marisa Tomei) discovering that her nephew was Spider-Man. May’s “What the f—-?” was quickly cut off by the credits, leaving us to wonder where this left the relationship between Peter and May and how this might affect future superheroing.

Based on the opening moments of this trailer, May is fine with Peter risking his life as a costumed superhero. Maybe that’s because she’s figured out how to use Spider-Man’s stardom to help the local community. He really is “Your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man.”

Also looking to be friendly is Happy Hogan (Jon Favreau), who’s taken a liking to Peter’s extremely attractive aunt. (He’s also apparently very aware of her wardrobe choices.) Happy and Aunt May aren’t a thing in the comic books (he ends up with Pepper Potts), but this is a good example of how the movies can create a fresh take on familiar characters and storylines. Will we get a Happy-Aunt May date?

Peter wants a break from Spider-Man

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To me, one of the strengths of Christopher Nolan’s Batman movies was exploring the idea that Bruce Wayne eventually wanted to give up crime-fighting. Who would want to continue that sort of life forever? Obviously, Peter Parker’s situation is very different, but it’s not at all difficult to believe that a high school kid would want to get away from anything that feels like a burden.

So when Peter has an opportunity for a European vacation, albeit a school trip with his classmates and friends (more Ned, please!), he wants to leave Spider-Man behind. Make it a real vacation! Get to know Mary Jane better! He can’t be Spidey if the suit is back in Queens, right? Right?

Nick Fury is watching

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Silly Peter! Superheroes don’t get a vacation. Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) hasn’t gotten to know this kid who was invited by Tony Stark to join the Avengers and gifted some high-tech Spidey gear. (Fury shadowing Peter also introduces a dynamic that was a key part of the Ultimate Spider-Man comics and animated series.)

If there’s a threat that Fury wants to take down in London, it’s curious as to why he didn’t utilize Captain America or Iron Man for the job. But this is probably a good time to mention that Far From Home takes place after Avengers: Endgame and we don’t know where that epic leaves those heroes.

For the purposes of this story, however, maybe Fury sees this as an opportunity to see what young Peter Parker is capable of while performing whatever task is needed. He’s the one who probably hooks Spidey up with his new suits (including the all-black stealth costume), as well.

Whoa, is that Sandman?

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Sandman is one of Spider-Man’s classic villains from the earliest Marvel Comics adventures. He did appear in Spider-Man 3 (played by Thomas Haden Church), but was pushed aside once Venom hijacked the story. It sure looks like Fury and Maria Hill (Cobie Smulders) are taking on a new version of Sandman in the trailer, but he’s almost certainly not a big part of the story.

However, it does appear that Sandman is one of three Spidey villains that show up in this film, along with Molten Man and the already rumored Hydro-Man. This is a clever way to work more of Spider-Man’s rogues gallery into these movies (unless you’re disappointed over Sandman not getting his own story), but the appearance of these characters leads to a question regarding the main villain of the piece.

Hello, Mysterio!

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We knew that Jake Gyllenhaal signed on as a villain in the next Spider-Man movie and set photos confirmed that he was playing Mysterio (cheekily referenced by the actor himself on Instagram), another of Spider-Man’s celebrated adversaries. But in arguably the best reveal of the Far From Home trailer, we get our first look at Gyllenhaal as the master illusionist.

With a costume that resembles a warrior from Asgard (and powers like Doctor Strange’s), Mysterio is presumably trying to portray himself as a hero to the masses. (And Peter’s classmates are intrigued, except for bully Flash Thompson.) What’s his motivation? Well, if the script follows comic book storylines, Mysterio (aka Quentin Beck) is a special effects master and stuntman who struck out in Hollywood.

Does he create illusions of Sandman, Molten Man and Hydro-Man to make it appear as if he’s a hero saving the day? It sure looks that way. But maybe it’s more than that, and Beck registered on Fury’s radar somehow with a bigger crime in mind.

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Overall, this is a fun trailer that rewards fans who have been waiting for months to see new Spider-Man action. It’s not a teaser that reveals very little, taking time to explain the story points. Yet it also doesn’t reveal too much, leaving enough questions that will intrigue the audience and invite speculation for months to come.

Where’s Tony Stark? Will there be any repercussions from what happens in Avengers: Endgame? (Obviously, Peter, Fury and Hill all survived — or were brought back from — the events of Infinity War.) What is Mysterio’s deal? Will Peter and Mary Jane start going out? Or Happy and Aunt May? What other new toys will Spidey get to play with?

UPDATE: An international version of the trailer was also released, which includes entirely different footage in the opening 30 seconds. Looks Like Peter didn’t leave the Spidey suit back in Queens, after all. (Hat tip, Slashfilm)

Spider-Man: Far From Home swings into theaters on July 5.