This summer, Jake Gyllenhaal was cast as the baddie in the forthcoming Spider-Man: Far from Home. (Remember: This is not to be confused with the also forthcoming Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, the animated spin-off about fellow Spidey Miles Morales.) The actor hasn’t spoken about it much since. And why would he? The Brokeback Mountain alum is wisely not on social media. Or he was: He succumbed to peer pressure or whatever made him join Instagram, and in his maiden post he’s gone and made a Spidey joke.
The video begins with a close-up of an Amazing Spider-Man comic from 1989, one where our Queens-bred hero battles Gyllenhaal’s Far from Home villain, Mysterio. The comic is lowered, revealing Gyllenhaal with a shocked/appalled expression on his face. “Whoa,” he says, “What the fu—” At this point the video abruptly and censoriously ends. The caption reads: “I just realized I’m not playing Spider-Man.”
Gyllenhaal has largely played serious throughout his career — with exceptions, like Bubble Boy, and, if you want to go way back, City Slickers — but of late he’s been loosening up a bit. Divisive though the performance may have been, his goofy, wacky-voiced turn in last year’s Okja showed he had the potential of multitudes. This Instagram post — and the fact that he’ll be playing the antagonist in the third and silliest round of Spider-Man movies — further proves that. (You could also make the case that his crazed turn in Nightcrawler was funny.)
We’ll see how funny his Mysterio is (or isn’t — Michael Keaton’s villain in Homecoming wasn’t a barrelful of laughs) on July 5. That said, barring any last-minute change-up, it appears Far from Home will not, alas, be a Zodiac reunion: Robert Downey Jr. is not on any public call sheet.