Is Hobgoblin making his way to the Marvel Cinematic Universe? It might take some speculation to get there but it appears Sony may well have teased the villain’s arrival in Spider-Man 3 recently, via some viral marketing. If this does come to pass, it appears Peter Parker’s best pal Ned Leeds will be making an evil turn in the not-too-distant future.
The tease came from an Instagram account for Flash Thompson, played by Tony Revolori in the MCU. It is a studio-owned account for marketing purposes. The account recently shared a post featuring Ned Leeds, played by Jacob Batalon, and Betty Brant, as portrayed by Angourie Rice. Above them reads, “this or that,” along with a list of pros and cons for each. It appears Flash is taking a poll on his classmates. But just above Ned’s head is an orange doodle that looks not unlike the hood worn by none other than the Hobgoblin. And thus, the door is open for speculation.
Hobgoblin first appeared in The Amazing Spider-Man #238 back in 1983. The character takes a great deal of inspiration from his predecessor, the Green Goblin, who we’ve seen on screen several times in the past. But never Hobgoblin. Ned Leeds is one of the characters in the comics who has been Hobgoblin. As such, it has been speculated for several years now that Jacob Batalon would eventually make the transformation. That little bit of orange in the Instagram post offers just enough of a breadcrumb leading in that direction.
The villain has a hugely complicated backstory in the pages of Marvel Comics. Ned Leeds is working as a reporter at The Daily Bugle where he falls in love with Betty Brant. Ned and Betty already had a romance in Spider-Man: Far From Home. It turns out, Ned is the Hobgoblin. But it’s not so simple as all of that. It is eventually revealed a different character, Roderick Kingsley, had brainwashed Ned Leeds to believe he was the Hobgoblin. Kingsley was then able to use him as a scapegoat.
Little is known about the plot of Spider-Man 3, which remains without an official title. It appears the movie will open up the Marvel multiverse, as Alfred Molina from Spider-Man 2 is returning as Doc Ock and Jamie Foxx will reprise his role as Electro from The Amazing Spider-Man 2. Andrew Garfield and Tobey Maguire are also believed to be returning in some capacity, which would unite the previous live-action Spider-Man actors alongside Tom Holland.
Benedict Cumberbatch is also set to reprise his role as Doctor Strange. Cumberbatch is, additionally, gearing up for a solo sequel, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Jon Watts, who directed both Homecoming and Far From Home, is returning to the director’s chair for the third installment. We’ll be sure to keep you posted as any further details are made available. Spider-Man 3 is currently slated to hit theaters on December 17. This news comes to us via the Flash Instagram account. The topper art comes from @_artkin_ on Instagram.