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Mr. Parker Goes to Venice

The first trailer for ‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’ features a very much alive Peter Parker traipsing around Europe battling Jake Gyllenhaal. The last time we saw him, he wasn’t feeling so good—so what’s going on here?

Jake Gyllenhaal’s Mysterio and Tom Hardy’s Spider-Man in a preview of ‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’ Marvel Studios/Ringer illustration

We might have reached the pinnacle of all things Spider-Man at the end of 2018 with Into the Spider-Verse—if nothing else, it’s the only Spider-Man film that has a Spider-Pig and Nicolas Cage doing a grumbly noir voice, both of which are perfect—but Hollywood’s Spidey fest isn’t slowing down anytime soon. Remember Tom Holland’s Spider-Man, who, thanks to Thanos, was last seen not feeling so good and crumbling into dust?

Well, that Spidey is back—somehow—in the first trailer for Spider-Man: Far From Home, which dropped Tuesday morning. The gist of Far From Home: Peter Parker and his classmates are spending their summer doing a Eurotrip, before another calamitous event requires Peter to don the Spidey suit and take on a new adversary. That’s all well and good, but didn’t he just get vaporized by a purple alien’s rapture? Well—maybe. Here are the four biggest takeaways from Far From Home, and what this could mean for Spider-Man’s future in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

This Might Take Place Before Infinity War

The most pressing question is about how Spider-Man is alive and well, which is not how we left him in Infinity War. Not that anyone’s complaining, or, for that matter, surprised; even though the emotional shock of seeing Peter get raptured was overwhelming, there was always that little voice pointing out practical things, like how Tom Holland is clearly a foundational part of Marvel’s future and how a sequel to Homecoming had already been slated.

So what happened? There are two possibilities. One is that this is taking place before Infinity War, which would allow Far From Home to avoid all things Thanos. Alternatively, it’s possible that the events of this movie take place after Avengers: Endgame, and that the trailer is cleverly avoiding all mentions of everything that preceded it. The trip to Europe could be a “Hey, Aunt May, I was just resurrected after a universally cataclysmic event. I need a vacation” sort of thing. Far From Home is set to drop months after Endgame, after all, and besides, Marvel trailers are known for throwing eagle-eyed fans off the scent with intentionally misleading footage. Naturally, this trailer blurred out the year issued on Peter’s passport.

A passport for Peter Parker with the date of issue blurred out Marvel Studios

If you ask me, the first possibility seems just as likely, though, as there’s nothing that mandates that Marvel films are released in chronological order. Far From Home could be the Tokyo Drift of the MCU, which would also explain the chippier tone the trailer embraces and the fact that Peter doesn’t seem hung up about losing any of the original Marvel heroes (whose contracts are up after Endgame). For now, though, we have to table this as TBD.

Mysterio Is … a Good Guy?

The other big moment from Far From Home was the introduction of Mysterio (played by Jake Gyllenhaal), a character from the Spider-Man comics making his long-awaited live-action debut. I guess it’s now MCU canon that Mysterio is kind of hot, and he’s going to inspire a lot of villain thirst tweets. (Somebody needs to take up the Villain Who Can Get It mantle now that Tom Hiddleston’s Loki is probably dead.)

Jake Gyllenhaal as Mysterio in ‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’ Marvel Studios

Just one problem: In the Far From Home trailer, Mysterio is … helping everyone? And is apparently another good guy? He doesn’t exactly give off a friendly vibe with Peter in the trailer—more so politely telling him to GTFO of the way and turning his attention to creatures attacking London and Venice (these could be Elementals, as well as Hydro-Man, villains from the comics). This would be a major shift from how Mysterio has been canonically treated on the page—but I’m not buying it.

The big thing with Mysterio is that he doesn’t actually have any superpowers; he’s basically a master illusionist with a lot of tricks up his sleeve. (Clearly, Mysterio’s favorite Christopher Nolan movie is The Prestige.) So, my vague guess here: Far From Home could be borrowing a bit from The Incredibles and that movie’s villain, Syndrome. Maybe Mysterio—with a lot of impressive theatrics up his sleeve—is trying to stage these calamitous events and somehow conjure up these Elementals to “defeat” them, so he can paint himself as a savior and gain the fame and fortune that comes with it.

The crux of the film could be Spider-Man eventually getting wise to Mysterio’s deception and responding in kind. Either way, if his comics reputation as a villain is anything to go off of, there’s probably more than meets the eye to Far From Home’s Mysterio—even if he is, in fact, pleasing to the eye with that neck beard, messy hair, and gold-plated armor.

Jake Gyllenhaal Isn’t Doing a Weird Accent

Jake Gyllenhaal is one of my favorite actors on the planet, a performer who vacillates between playing a role relatively straight and just getting really effing weird. (It’s unclear whether he makes these choices himself, or whether the director of Okja was just like, “Do you mind pretending you’re late-era John Lennon on bath salts the whole time?”)

With that in mind, you’d think showing up in the MCU as a villainous master illusionist would inspire some classic Weird Gyllenhaal, or at least some kind of quirky accent. Well, not quite.

Granted, it’s just a few seconds of footage—and this is the only thing he says in the Far From Home trailer. But it already seems like a missed opportunity. Or! Maybe the weirdest move here was to NOT be weird at all! Gyllenhaal’s done it again. All jokes aside, if you want Weird Gyllenhaal, he is playing an art critic in a Netflix movie about haunted art killing people. It’s art-house art horror, and Jakey is doing this.

Rene Russo and Jake Gyllenhaal in ‘Velvet Buzzsaw’ Netflix
Jake Gyllenhaal shouting in ‘Velvet Buzzsaw’ Netflix

If he brings at least 10 percent of this energy to Far From Home, we’ll have a masterpiece on our hands.

Multiple! Spider-Man! Outfits!

Despite appearing in just three MCU films (Spider-Man: Homecoming, Captain America: Civil War, Infinity War), Holland’s Peter Parker has donned several different Spidey suits, each with their own idiosyncrasies. And while part of this is probably a cynical move on Marvel’s part to sell more Spider-Man toys—new costumes means new action figures—it’s undeniably fun to see Spidey embrace different aesthetics.

According to Far From Home’s first trailer, Peter has at least two looks to work with: a regular, red-dominant Spidey suit equipped with wings and an all-black outfit that seems like it’s from the set of Mission: Impossible. Behold, the first live-action Spider-Man with a tactleneck (a tactical turtleneck).

Spider-Man in a black tactical turtleneck in ‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’ Marvel Studios

This is probably the closest MCU Spider-Man will get to Nic Cage’s Noir Spider-Man, which can only be a good thing. Overall, Far From Home looks dope. We’ve got a lot of Marvel (Captain Marvel! Endgame!) between now and the film’s release date, July 5, but I think I’m more hyped for Peter Parker messing around in Venice than Endgame’s intergalactic stakes. What can I say? We’re really in the golden age of Spider-Man.