What happened with Spider-Man: Far From Home’s multiverse tease?

Spider-Man: Far From Home had a lot riding on it. Not only was it the first Marvel movie to premiere in the wake of the era-ending Avengers: Endgame , but it’s also officially the final film in the current phase of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. So after Endgame came out in April and wrapped up most of the MCU’s loose ends, Far From Home seemed poised to introduce new wrinkles that would push Marvel’s films toward their next big storyline. That was especially true after Marvel and Sony Pictures (the latter owns the film rights to Spider-Man and co-produced both Far From Home and its predecessor, Spider-Man: Homecoming ) released a teaser for the film hot on Endgame ’s heels, one that came with a spoiler warning attached. Some of the spoilers it contained seemed obvious and straightforward to the casual Marvel fan or recent Endgame viewer. But for comic book fans, the teaser hinted at a possible development that could radically change the MCU going forward.Now that Far From Home is out, we can see that hint for what it truly is. And what it is appears to be a big bag o’ nothing.(Spoilers for both Spider-Man: Far From Home and Avengers: Endgame follow.)One of Far From Home ’s trailers teased our first look at a multiverseLet’s back up to May 9, 2019. The heartbreak of Avengers: Endgame was still fresh in the minds of Iron Man and Captain America fans. Curiosity about what the future holds for the remaining Avengers had yet to truly set in. But Marvel couldn’t wait for reactions to Endgame to run their course; it had another MCU movie coming up.In came a lengthy new trailer for Spider-Man: Far From Home , the first to acknowledge the events of Endgame — including its character deaths. (Early Far From Home trailers had danced around the specifics of both Avengers: Infinity War and its then-forthcoming sequel, as Marvel and Sony began promoting the new Spider-Man several months before Endgam e debuted.) And it offered more than just glimpses at what was next for the Avengers’ youngest hero; it also seemed to throw an intriguing wrench into the mix with just a brief line from a new character, played by Jake Gyllenhaal. In the trailer, Gyllenhaal appears as Quentin Beck, a.k.a. Mysterio, who appears out of nowhere to rescue Peter Parker and his classmates from certain supernatural disaster while they’re on their high school Eurotrip. Mysterio is presented as a hero who seems to be even stronger than Spider-Man, and he claims there’s a simple reason that S.H.I.E.L.D. and the Avengers haven’t encountered him before: He’s from a different version of Earth. In fact, according to Mysterio, there are tons of other Earths. “There are multiple realities, Peter,” he says to Parker while the two convene in an undercover cave somewhere. “This is Earth-616. I’m from Earth-833. We share identical physical constants.”The trailer then cuts away from this scene without much elaboration — because it’s a trailer, and that’s the point. But as Alex Abad-Santos explained for Vox when it was released, Mysterio’s specific allusion to a multiverse, as the different versions of Earth that he mentions are collectively known, was huge for comic book readers. “For Marvel fans, those numbers, especially ‘616,’ are like sirens,” he wrote. “They’re direct references to the comic books that Marvel’s movies are based on, which have their own rich history of parallel universes, altered timelines, and all kinds of reality manipulation hijinks — the kind of stuff that could be clues for where the MCU is going next.”It’s important to know that this isn’t the first time that the multiverse has been referred to in the MCU. In Endgame , for instance, Tilda Swinton’s Ancient One tells Bruce Banner, a.k.a. the Hulk, that there are multiple timelines in the universe, which is why she fears the Avengers traveling back and forward in time and messing around with things in the hopes of undoing Thanos’s snap. Additionally, she had previously referenced these timelines in her Doctor Strange debut — but she’s never provided any specifics about potential other Earths that might exist within them. So if the multiverse does exist in the MCU, the thinking went, and it includes specific other versions of Earth with different inhabitants and heroes, maybe the events of Avengers: Endgame weren’t quite as conclusive as they initially appeared. Maybe Tony Stark and Steve Rogers are still alive and well (or in Steve’s case, young and hot) somewhere ...Read more

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