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Ned Leeds Becomes Hobgoblin (From The Multiverse)


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Marvel incorporating the multiverse into Spider-Man 3 means that Jacob Batalon’s Ned Leeds can finally suit up as the Hobgoblin in the MCU.

Marvel incorporating the multiverse into Spider-Man 3 makes it possible for Ned Leeds (Jacob Batalon) to become the Hobgoblin in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. In the movies, Ned is the best friend of Peter Parker (Tom Holland) and one of his closest allies. Ned, who has been aware of Peter’s secret identity since early in Spider-Man: Homecoming, has been his most trusted confidante in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. So far, the character has appeared in four films, including both Spider-Man movies, Avengers: Infinity War, and Avengers: Endgame.

In Marvel Comics, Ned Leeds is known to fans as the Hobgoblin, a classic Spider-Man villain similar in concept to his greatest enemy, the Green Goblin. Ned was also a key supporting character in Spider-Man’s comics. He worked as a journalist at the Daily Planet under J. Jonah Jameson and was the husband of Peter’s first girlfriend from his high school days, Betty Brant. He was someone that Peter trusted a great deal until his reputation was ruined by the discovery that he was the Hobgoblin. A later twist revealed that he was only operating as the Marvel Comics villain because he was brainwashed by the true Hobgoblin, Roderick Kingsley. Unfortunately, Ned died before his good name could be restored, which left Spider-Man with a burden of guilt for quite some time.

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Related: Electro In Spider-Man 3 Is Good News For Fox’s Mutants In The MCU

The MCU hasn’t used Hobgoblin yet (nor has any other live-action film), but a chance may come in Spider-Man 3. Directed by Jon Watts and currently scheduled for a 2021 release, the third Spider-Man movie will feature appearances from The Amazing Spider-Man 2’s Electro (Jamie Foxx) and Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch). The inclusion of both characters provides strong evidence that the movie will involve the multiverse and some sort of interdimensional conflict. Other timelines being included in the movie means that Peter Parker can meet other versions of established Spider-Man characters and perhaps other versions of the wallcrawler himself, such as Tobey Maguire’s take on the hero. Here’s why there’s a possibility that Spider-Man 3 will use the multiverse elements of the film to make Jacob Batalon’s Ned Leeds the MCU’s very own Hobgoblin.

Jacob Batalon Looks Different in MCU Spider-Man 3

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Jacob Batalon, who is confirmed to be back as Ned Leeds in Spider-Man 3, has apparently lost over 100 pounds since Spider-Man: Far from Home, which will allow him to have a much slimmer look for the highly anticipated third installment in the franchise. Of course, it could be that the weight loss was a personal choice for Batalon, but many believe that the actor lost the weight for his role in Spider-Man 3. If that’s true, that raises questions about what makes his part in Spider-Man 3 any different from those that he had in Homecoming and Far from Home. His weight never really mattered for the story before. It may be that Ned’s role requires a much slimmer appearance for some reason. That would make sense if the character was to be directly involved in the superhero action.

Jacob Batalon Wants Ned Leeds To Become Hobgoblin (Like The Comics)

Getting to be a part of the fighting is something that Batalon would be able to do as Ned Leeds if he were to become the Hobgoblin like the comic book character did in the 1980s. It’s worth noting that being the MCU’s Hobgoblin is what Batalon does indeed want for his character at some point down the line. In 2019, he expressed interest in bringing Ned closer to his comic book roots and suiting up as the Hobgoblin. He’s also talked about somehow becoming a member of the iconic team of Spider-Man villains, the Sinister Six.

The MCU’s Ned Leeds Can’t Become Hobgoblin in Spider-Man 3

Roderick Kingsley aka Hobgoblin

As much as Batalon may want to be Hobgoblin, it just doesn’t seem to be a likely trajectory for his version of the character. There’s been no setup for such a role for him, and it wouldn’t make much sense for someone as good and loyal as Ned to become an enemy of Spider-Man. Granted, the comic book version of Ned wasn’t a true villain either, so Marvel could theoretically follow the comics if it really wanted to and have him be brainwashed by Roderick Kingsley or someone else. However, this wouldn’t work well at all for the story. First of all, Ned being a villain would ruin the fun dynamic between his character and Peter. Also, a big part of Ned’s purpose in the MCU has been to provide comedy relief and moments of levity. It would be strange indeed for Marvel to move away from this completely and deliver such a dark storyline of Ned being morphed into the Hobgoblin against his will. For these reasons, it feels like Ned Leeds is one MCU character who won’t ever become his comic book counterpart.

Related: Kraven Is Less Likely To Be MCU Spider-Man 3’s Villain Now

Theory: Ned Is Hobgoblin From Another Universe in Spider-Man 3

The Ned Leeds that audiences know from the MCU movies may be safe from the tragic fate of the comic book character, but the multiverse being in Spider-Man 3 opens the door for a new Ned Leeds to become Hobgoblin. On top of meeting Jamie Foxx’s Electro, Peter could run into different versions of people that he already has in his life. If characters from other timelines cross over – or if Peter himself is the one who visits other worlds – he and Doctor Strange could cross paths with a Ned Leeds whose life took a different turn. In one timeline, Ned could have been a truly evil, unhinged person who has a vendetta against his universe’s Spider-Man (who may also be played by Tom Holland).

Alternatively, there could be a timeline where Peter runs into a comic book accurate Ned Leeds who works at the Daily Planet and still dates Betty Brant (Angourie Rice). This character could have been brainwashed by Spider-Man 3’s main villain into becoming the Hobgoblin, complete with his costume, glider, and arsenal of pumpkin bombs. If so, this alternate timeline Ned Leeds could serve as a secondary antagonist or minion to Peter’s real enemy.

Either scenario could result in some interesting interactions between the movie’s characters, especially if the MCU’s Ned Leeds and the Hobgoblin meet over the course of the story. It may be that the villainous Ned Leeds will try to use Peter’s friendship with him to his advantage. He could try to replace the good Ned and gain his confidence. If this were to happen, a deadly betrayal could occur in Spider-Man 3.

More: Every Marvel Phase 4 Movie & Show That Will Include The Multiverse

Key Release Dates

  • Black Widow (2021)Release date: May 07, 2021
  • Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings (2021)Release date: Jul 09, 2021
  • Eternals (2021)Release date: Nov 05, 2021
  • Spider-Man: Homecoming 3 (2021)Release date: Dec 17, 2021
  • Thor: Love and Thunder (2022)Release date: Feb 11, 2022
  • Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2022)Release date: Mar 25, 2022
  • Black Panther 2 (2022)Release date: May 06, 2022
  • Captain Marvel 2 (2022)Release date: Jul 08, 2022

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Updated: November 9, 2020 — 12:20 am

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