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Spider-Man: No Way Home Writer Explains Mysterio’s Return in Concept Art

Jake Gyllenhaal as Mysterio / Quentin Beck in Spider-Man: Far From Home

When it comes to dealing with the multiverse—as the Marvel Cinematic Universe is now very overtly doing—everything is a possibility. That includes characters coming back from the dead, foes from different universes interacting with characters we know and love, and people like Quentin Beck continuing to ruin Peter Parker’s life in any way possible. For Spider-Man: No Way Home, we had a lot of theories, and now, cowriter Chris McKenna has talked about what the multiverse meant for them while writing No Way Home.

Concept art revealed that there was a time when Jake Gyllenhaal’s Mysterio was making a return in No Way Home. The image shows Mysterio squaring off against Doctor Strange in that final battle at the Statue of Liberty.

Quentin Beck destroyed the life that Peter Parker knew simply because he wanted to go out a hero. He wanted the world to think that he was worthy of the life that Tony Stark stole from him, and he destroyed Peter Parker’s to make that his reality, even in death. But we also explored the multiverse in No Way Home, so according to McKenna, the concept art came from the creative team playing around with different ideas prior to the film being finalized.

“We’ve worked on a few of these [movies] now and they’ll bring you incredible concept art. You’re like ‘wow, someone thought this up, and now it’s going to be a set piece,'” McKenna said to IGN (via The Direct). “So when we didn’t know what the movie was quite going to be, we were playing around with a lot of different ideas, you’re dealing with the Multiverse and a lot of different ideas get thrown around. Brilliant artists are taking their own ideas or taking inspiration from the director, the producers, and making incredible artwork.”

McKenna went on to explain that once the multiverse became a major part of the film, the potential cast of characters—you know, infinite—became overwhelming, and they had to choose carefully when it came to which characters to actually utilize to tell the story they wanted to tell. The Mysterio concept art was apparently the result of “a lot of conversations where anything can happen,” but he was ultimately just one of many options that didn’t make the cut.

Bringing Beck back

The thing is: I did want them to bring Quentin Beck back so that there would be a Sinister Six for the Peter Parkers to take on. We got close, and I suppose I would argue that there was a version of the Sinister Six happening since all of this exists because of Mysterio, but still. Having him come back into the fold and take on Stephen Strange? That would have been fascinating to see.

Quentin Beck is the kind of character who thinks the world is against him. He took Tony not seeing the value in his technology as an afront to him personally. He took out his vengeance on a child with no regard for his wellbeing. He cared only about himself and his goals, and so, having him face off against Peter Parker again, along with the other villains out to get him, would have been an interesting dynamic to explore.

Instead, we got a nearly perfect movie with villains from movies past and a reunion of all three Spider-Mans. So, if it came down to the return of Mysterio or the movie that we ended up getting, I’m glad that they cut Mysterio from their plans. It doesn’t mean that we’ll never see him again, though, since Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness is coming …

(image: Marvel Entertainment)

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Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. A writer her whole life but professionally starting back in 2016 who loves all things movies, TV, and classic rock. Resident Spider-Man expert, official Leslie Knope, actually Yelena Belova. Wanda Maximoff has never done anything wrong in her life. Star Wars makes her very happy. New York writer with a passion for all things nerdy. Yes, she has a Pedro Pascal podcast. And also a Harrison Ford one.