WARNING: THIS ARTICLE CONTAINS MAJOR SPOILERS FOR SPIDER-MAN: FAR FROM HOME. PLEASE DO NOT CONTINUE READING UNLESS YOU HAVE SEEN THE FILM ALREADY!
So they did it again. Those SOB’s over at Marvel fooled us once more! I’m not talking about the mid-film “plot twist” reveal that Jake Gyllenhaal’s Mysterio is actually the villain of Spider-Man: Far From Home though. That “surprise” was very much expected from just about everybody who has read a Spidey comic in the last few decades. Mysterio’s introduction as a good guy who later gets revealed to actually be a bad guy pretending to have superpowers – thanks to high-tech illusions – is straight out of the source material.
No, what I’m instead referring to is Marvel’s own smoke and mirrors act of seemingly revealing in the Far From Home trailers that Mysterio is from another Earth. That little tidbit about a multiverse being confirmed in the wake of the events of Avengers: Endgame opened up the flood gates of fan speculation. So many crazy ideas were thrown up (including by me) for the future of the MCU based on that one line of dialogue… only for it all to amount to an elaborate ruse. A hammy bit of plot-wrangling that Gyllenhaal’s Mysterio and his crew of cronies dreamt up to sell him as a hero (and which actually got changed from trailer to movie!).
Well, not exactly as Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige told Fandango that the Multiverse is very much a real thing in the MCU as “it just means [Mysterio] was full of s**t.”
I mean, in Doctor Strange, we hear the Ancient One talk about the multiverse, so we’ve already established it as a thing.
So yes, our crazy theories may still come to pass. Just not in this film. And with that, as I was sitting in the cinema, I realized that the film’s upcoming credit scenes would now probably be unlike anything I had imagined would happen. And boy was I right!
After scaring the bejeezus out of Zendaya’s MJ with a swing through Manhattan, Tom Holland’s Spider-Man figuratively runs face first into Mysterio’s final act of villainy. Created moments before he died of accidentally self-inflicted injuries during his battle with Spider-Man in London, a doctored video now shows Mysterio (who, at this point, is still believed to be a hero by the world at large) being executed by Spider-Man with the crippling devastation wrought on London and the rest of Europe also pinned on Spidey. What’s more, in his dying moments, Mysterio reveals to the world that under the mask, Spider-Man is none other than Peter Parker!
All of this is certainly shocking enough, especially considering a large portion of Far From Home concerns Peter doing whatever he can to preserve his secret identity. However, the biggest shock comes in the way this “revelation” is delivered to the world: J. Jonah Jameson! Yes, Peter Parker’s erstwhile moustachioed civilian nemesis has finally been introduced into the MCU. Previously portrayed in iconic fashion by JK Simmons in the original Sam Raimi-directed Spider-Man trilogy, this time he’s played by… Oh hey, it’s JK Simmons again! Yep, Marvel knows not to mess with pitch-perfect casting as the Oscar winner is playing a new iteration of the fan-favourite character. Director Jon Watts has revealed that Jameson’s scenes were filmed at the very last moment, so as to not have his inclusion leaked and it definitely worked!
Recreated for the modern age, this Jameson is a bit older and balder. His Daily Bugle is also no longer a print newspaper but a controversial alt-news website, spinning Jameson into an Alex Jones-like figure (hopefully without the vile, damaging conspiracy theories) who now has Spider-Man in his sights for a massive crime he didn’t actually commit. It’s a pretty clever modernization of the character and gives him some background for the seething vitriol Jameson has traditionally had for Spider-Man.
As for Spidey, it also puts him in a very precarious position with his public identity now outed. Past villains like the Vulture, Mac Gargan aka Scorpion, the Shocker and more now know who he is, and thus who his family is, which is going to lead to some very sticky situations. I would not be surprised if this is the start of the formation of the MCU’s Sinister Six as the baddies get together to hit him where he’ll hurt the most. Or maybe Jameson puts a bounty on Parker’s head, seeing as he’s now Public Enemy #1. And if I can just put on my fanboy cap here for a bit, I have to ask who better to hunt down a fleeing Spider-Man than Kraven the Hunter? C’mon, folks. Make it happen!
Speaking to SyFy, Far From Home co-writer Chris McKenna (who penned the film with writing partner Erik Sommers) revealed that Marvel kept on “telling us to find ways to raise the stakes…”
…raise the stakes, and then when that idea was floated, people instantly went, ‘Well, maybe that is raising the stakes too much. [They asked,] ‘Do we really want to do that?’ Because obviously it’s such a huge point of no return for Peter and the series.
As McKenna explained though, “When something scares you, you might be on the right path,” and so the team went all in on this drastic change of the status quo. In the comics, Spider-Man famously outed his public identity himself during the Civil War event, however it led to much trouble on his end. Eventually he was forced to turn to Doctor Strange and Reed Richards of the Fantastic Four who used their combined skills to erase the memory of Spider-Man’s real identity from the entire world. In the MCU, Spidey already has a working relationship with Doctor Strange and the Fantastic Four rights are now owned by Disney… I’m just saying.
Skipping past that bit of wishful thinking we get to the final post-credits scene which is even more unexpected. It’s revealed that the Nick Fury and Maria Hill we’ve seen throughout the entirety of the film were secretly actually Talos and Soren, the husband/wife pair of shapeshifting Skrulls we met in the 1990s-set Captain Marvel. It appears that the real Fury has kept in contact with the Skrulls since then and asked them to stand in for him on Earth (if I recall correctly, Talos indicates it’s only been for a week or so) while he goes off on another mission.
Just what that mission is, we don’t know. We know where it is though: Space. As gets revealed, Samuel L. Jackson’s Fury is actually aboard some type of massive, highly-advanced craft in outer space crewed by more Skrulls. We only get a little gag involving Fury pretending to relax on a virtual beach in the short scene, so we really don’t have any concrete evidence as to what is going on here but we can speculate.
I would guess that this is the MCU’s equivalent of The Peak, the high-orbit space station created by SWORD (Sentient Worlds Observation and Response Department), the cosmic-focused alternative to SHIELD whose job it was to look out for and stop extraterrestrial threats. After Thanos, I’m guessing the Powers That Be on Earth want to keep an eye on the sky at all times.
This could also tie into the Captain Marvel sequel we know is on the way, seeing as the last time we saw these Skrulls they were on a spaceship with Brie Larson’s cosmic powerhouse in search of a new homeworld. Then there’s the blink-and-you-miss-it moment early in Far From Home where we also hear the fake Fury and Hill comment about there a being Kree sleeper cell on Earth. Since Kree are the Skrulls’ enemies and have a history with Captain Marvel it only makes sense to pick up those threads over there.
In the same Fandango interview mentioned above, Feige commented on this as well.
Well, that Kree-Skrull war was a big part of the comics and a big part of the Captain Marvel mythology that we wanted to build into. And there’ll be lots of questions like, what was Captain Marvel up to in the 20-plus years between when she flew away at the end of Captain Marvel to when she appears in Endgame? That particular line, though, is one of the handful of Easter eggs sprinkled throughout the film that Maria or Fury say that give an indication that something’s different about them.
Fury does things earlier in the film where he refers to the Earth to Peter as “your world,” instead of “our world.” And when you watch it for the first time, it just goes by. But when you watch it a second time, knowing what’s coming, it’s fun to see that they’re there. And Jon Watts is very good at laying in those Easter eggs
It does beg the question just how many Skrulls are actually secretly on Earth though? For a long time fans suspected that Marvel was building up to adapt the famous Secret Invasion comic book arc, but those ideas mostly went up in smoke when Captain Marvel revealed these Skrulls to be a relatively peaceful alien people rather the warlike Skrulls who secretly infiltrated Earth in an attempt to invade like in the comics. However, Marvel Studios boss Kevin Feige has previously stated that the MCU’s Skrulls are just like humans: some are good and some are bad. Maybe some of the bad ones are actually hiding out on Earth and plotting some nefarious takeover a la Secret Invasion?
Actually, you know what? Ignore that theory and all the others above it. At this rate I think it wise to rather just wait until I see the next Marvel movie before speculating about it, only to have all my expectations subverted. Again!
Last Updated: July 8, 2019