This should be brief.
Some parts of the world are still waking up to not only a new spoiler-filled trailer for Spider-Man: Far From Home, revealing perhaps the biggest Marvel Cinematic Universe development in Avengers: Endgame and ending all debate and speculation how about when (and how) Far From Home takes place, but the terms “Mysterio” and “Multiverse” trending on Twitter. And the latter for the same reason - the trailer seems to reveal there are alternate dimensions in the MCU, meaning a multiverse.
This, of course, is already resulting in wild speculation as to what this could mean for the MCU moving forward - the explanation of the Fantastic Four and X-Men’s eventual appearance; the relationship between the MCU films and TV shows; crossovers with the Sony Spider-verse (live action and/or animated); etc.
But as we’ve reminded readers a few times now in stories about the first trailer and Spider-Man’s future in the MCU, Mysterio is all about illusion.
Remember, for the second time now in trailers Mysterio is being presented as a hero, as an ally of ‘Nick Fury’, and as the potential figure to follow in the footsteps of Iron Man and continue Tony Stark's legacy after Endgame, the theme of the trailer.
But so far in 11 years and 22 movies, Marvel Studios has been pretty faithful to the source material. Given the premise of Spider-Man questioning whether he needs to step up after Iron Man’s death, it doesn’t seem like Marvel adding a new hero from an alternative dimension ‘inspired’ by one of Spider-Man’s oldest most classic villains to challenge Peter for that distinction is likely.
In other words, we’re still maintaining that it is more likely Mysterio will ultimately be revealed as the story’s true villain, which means everything about him … EVERYthing about him - his motivations, the source of his powers - is questionable. It may be part of the illusion.
The art of an illusionist is to create what looks like believable ‘magic,’ and Mysterio and still-potentially-fake Nick Fury giving Peter (and fans) the “alternate dimension” theory could be part of the trick.
Recall the great Michael Caine as ‘Cutter’ explaining the theater of illusion in Christopher Nolan’s The Prestige.
“The second act is called ‘The Turn’. The magician takes the ordinary something and makes it do something extraordinary. Now you're looking for the secret... but you won't find it, because of course you're not really looking. You don't really want to know. You want to be fooled.”
Already, just hours after the trailer was released, fans and journalists seem to be buying into the explanation hook, line and sinker. They want it to be real.
As a reminder, Marvel Studios is increasingly outright deceiving fans in their trailers. They did it with Infinity War, stepped it up a notch with Endgame and even certain elements of the first Far From Home trailer looks manipulated in retrospect.
In the first trailer, audio is used to suggest Nick and Spider-Man had never met. But Endgame revealed they must have at Tony’s memorial service. The new Far From Home trailer tweaks that moment into Nick expressing how hard it is to contact Peter. And that’s fine, that isn’t a criticism. In this day and age of internet spoilers, we don’t blame Marvel Studios at all for keeping fans honest with misdirection. Marketing strategies like that are part of why they’re so successful.
The point is, don’t believe everything you see.
Did Marvel just reveal one of the arguably biggest MCU developments ever in a trailer just two weeks after their most impactful film yet opened? For a Sony film no less?
Maybe. It’s possible. To be fair, there is comic book precedent for Mysterio as a multiverse traveler. In the 2012 limited series Spider-Men, the Quentin Beck of the core Marvel Universe builds a machine that sends Peter Parker into the Ultimate Universe, where he teams up with Miles Morales to defeat Mysterio – who is then imprisoned in the Ultimate U by that world’s Nick Fury (a.k.a. Samuel L. Jackson’s doppelganger). This constituted the first breach between the core Marvel Universe and the Ultimate Universe.
And hey, they did make the Skrulls the good guys of Captain Marvel, so nothing is off the table. But then again, they didn’t reveal that until the second act of Captain Marvel, not in the trailers. Marvel Studios seems to want you to know now Mysterio is a good guy and comes from an alternative dimension.
So again, considering the nature of who the revelation is about, and Marvel Studios’ trailer history (assuming it's them and not Sony cutting the trailer), we caution fans to maintain a healthy dose of scrutiny as to Mysterio’s identity and where he comes from until the third reel of Far From Home.
Spider-Man: Far From Home is scheduled to open in North America July 2.