With a new Spider-Man movie on the horizon, fans are going wild with speculation about what could happen next for the famous Marvel superhero.
Of course, the biggest rumor doing the rounds right now is that Spider-Man 3 will focus on the multiverse, bringing back past stars Andrew Garfield and Tobey Maguire to once again portray their beloved versions of the web-slinging superhero.
But this latest intriguing theory actually focuses on Peter Parker’s friend Ned Leeds. The character was played by Jacob Batalon in Spider-Man: Homecoming and Far From Home, and will return in the highly-anticipated, currently-untitled, third movie that’s set for release on December 17, 2021.
Ned could become Spider-Man’s next big villain
The Marvel Cinematic Universe’s version of Ned is very different from the Ned that appears in the Spider-Man comics, but fans believe there’s one element of his character that will carry across to the big screen: he eventually becomes the villain Hobgoblin.
While this may seem like an unlikely development, given how Ned is primarily the comic relief of the movie, there’s no reason his character can’t undergo a dramatic change in future movies. In the comics, Ned is brainwashed by Roderick Kingsley to become Hobgoblin and take the fall for his crimes.
Batalon wants it to happen, too, telling Screen Rant that his own personal theory is that Ned becomes Hobgoblin and ends up joining the Sinister Six for a massive showdown with Spider-Man.
A twist like this would also be reminiscent of Sam Raimi’s original Spider-Man movie trilogy, where Peter Parker’s best friend Harry Osborne becomes New Goblin after the web-slinger kills his father, Norman, who was the original face behind the Green Goblin.
Who is Hobgoblin?
Hobgoblin first appeared in the comics in The Amazing Spider-Man #238 in 1983. Fans are desperate to see Hobgoblin appear on screen, as the character has never been portrayed in a live-action movie.
The Green Goblin, however, has been a mainstay throughout Spider-Man’s movies, appearing in two of Raimi’s Spider-Man movies as well as the Oscar-winning animation Into the Spider-Verse. It’s likely that Marvel will want to focus on new villains, instead of one that’s appeared many times before.
With Jamie Foxx confirmed to appear as villain Electro in Spider-Man 3, it’s unlikely that Ned will become Hobgoblin any time soon. But Spider-Man 4? It’s a very real possibility.