While the main hook for the Spider-Man: Far From Home trailer was the reveal of Jake Gyllenhaal as Mysterio, the real villains of the film may surprise you: a collection of elemental villains, based on B-list, old-school heroes like Hydro-Man and Molten Man. We took a visit to the London set of Far From Home to learn about the web slinger’s next big bads.
“Because Mysterio is a hero in our world, I needed villains,“ director Jon Watts told us. The film positions Mysterio as an ally of Nick Fury, who’s recruited to deal with a group of elemental monsters that have suddenly cropped up. “There’s so many Spider-Man villains from the rogues gallery that I wanted to dig a little bit deeper than what anyone might be expecting…villains like Hydro-Man and Molten Man, who may not be on the highest list. But that opened up such amazing visual possibilities and poses really dangerous challenges for Spider-Man.”
Executive producer Eric Carroll explained that one of the reasons they got excited about using the more elemental villains was to combat the criticisms that the fight with Vulture in Homecoming was disappointing. “We heard that people wanted a little more spectacle, and that was one of the ideas we got excited about,” said Carroll. “The Molten Man, Hydro-Man takes on these characters, is that they are really sort of big and spectacular.”
They look like mindless destroyers, so it’s not clear if these are men-turned-monsters or something else entirely. Let’s break down who these monsters could potentially be, and what that means for Spidey. (Just to note, there is an actual team of Marvel villains named The Elementals — four immortals who can control the elements and ruled the Earth thousands of years ago, but the name in this case is purely coincidental.)
Water Elemental – based on Hydro-Man
This is the first elemental that Peter encounters when they land in Venice, and it’s also where he’s first introduced to Mysterio. Without his suit Peter “gets clobbered,” says Carroll, and “right when he thinks he’s gonna have to rush into action and give up his secret identity, he’s saved by the bell by this guy [Mysterio], a cross between Iron Man and Dr. Strange.”
In the comics, Hydro-Man’s first appearance was in the 1981 The Amazing Spider-Man #212. Starting off as a crewman named Morris Bench, he’s accidentally knocked off board by Spider-Man (who’s fighting Namor) and falls right into where a powerful generator is being tested in the ocean. As a result he gains the ability to turn his body liquid and manipulate water.
Fire Elemental – based on Molten Man
The trailer also shows a fiery yellow monster, and he’ll crash a festival in Prague, according to Carroll.
In the comics, Molten Man is named Mark Raxon, and he first appeared in the 1965 The Amazing Spider-Man #28. A lab assistant, Raxon accidentally spills a metallic alloy from a meteor all over himself, which turns his skin into an inhumanly strong liquid gold.
Earth Elemental – based on Sandman
In the trailer there’s a brief appearance of a rock monster. It happens in “a small Mexican town that’s been ravaged by one of these elemental attacks,” said Carroll. “Nick Fury and Maria Hill are the first on the scene. They decide something’s off and they got to starting getting a team together to address this.”
The closest comics character to this would be Flint Marko, aka Sandman, a prison escapee who comes into contact with irradiated sand on a test site. He’s nearly as old as Spider-Man himself, appearing back in 1963 in The Amazing Spider-Man #4.
Air Elemental – Mysterio?
When asked if all the four elements would appear in the film, Carroll said, “Yes. By the end of the movie, you get to get a taste of them all, and we’ll let you guys do some of the theorizing, but we did try to have them all be inspired by somebody actually from the comics.”
In the trailer, we’re shown brief glimpses of each elemental, except for the conspicuously missing air. We are shown Mysterio though — a villain in the comics who just so happens to specialize in trickery and engineering noxious gases.
Mysterio’s “got a working history with these elementals, and his powers tie to something similar,” said Carroll.
Is it possible the fourth elemental is Mysterio himself? We don’t know what the elementals are, why they’re attacking, and if anyone is controlling them. It would surely be a twist to reveal Fury and Peter’s trusted ally was actually the big bad all along. If Mysterio is indeed the last elemental and/or capable of conjuring them, Peter may very well be in for the fight of his life.
Spider-Man: Far From Home debuts July 2.
Images: Marvel Comics, Marvel Studios, Sony Pictures