Spider-Man: No Way Home has been the journey of a lifetime. The Phase 4 MCU film not only broke multiple records but made millions of fans’ dreams come true by bringing Tobey Maguire as well as Andrew Garfield back as Spider-Man alongside MCU’s resident web-slinger Tom Holland. The film never had a slow moment or a breather as one mishap after another kept the hero on his toes until the climactic battle. But in the quiet of the aftermath, what happens to the only two people he had made his family, apart from Aunt May?
What Happens to Ned After Spider-Man: No Way Home?
Jacob Batalon aka Ned Leeds has been an MCU constant since the Homecoming days. Being Peter Parker’s best friend, he was also the first civilian to learn of Spider-Man’s true identity, albeit accidentally. After that comedically teenage moment of initial excitement passed, Ned proved to be a capable ally with his skills as the “guy behind the computer”. However, after the events of Spider-Man: No Way Home, no person on Earth, besides Doctor Strange, remembers that Peter Parker is Spider-Man. And that wipes out every moment that MJ and Ned have spent in Peter’s company.
With a completely clean slate moving forward, the Marvel mainstream universe now has free reign to explore whatever arc they want with respect to Ned Leeds. If the comic origin story of Ned Leeds is to be followed, then the fourth Spider-Man installment could well establish Ned as the next fearsome adversary of our forgotten Avenger. Moreover, seeing as how Ned indicated his magical ancestry in Spider-Man: No Way Home and can easily create and manipulate portals with a sling ring, perhaps Marvel is building up to deliver a more involved role to Ned rather than confining him to contributing from beyond the battlefield.
Jacob Batalon Teases Ned Leeds’ Future Hobgoblin Arc
Jacob Batalon, in a recent interview, revealed his experience with acting out much darker roles than he is usually assigned to in movies like the MCU Spider-Man franchise and Reginald the Vampire. Batalon claimed,
“You know, I’d love to. I feel like as an actor [when I was in drama school] I really gravitated more towards really dark dramatic things as opposed to comedy and things of like that nature but I found, you know, playing Ned and Reginald, it has sort of given me this light where I wasn’t seeing things so negatively and I wasn’t thinking so deeply or darkly about things.
I’m looking forward to doing a lot of other things, which you know people may not see me doing right now. But yeah, those things are in the works for sure.”
If this is a teaser of what’s to come with respect to Spider-Man 4, then the audience would surely love the angst of Peter Parker fighting his best friend. Several MCU theories have already teased Batalon’s villainous role in the future as Hobgoblin. In the comics, Ned Leeds is a colleague of Peter Parker at The Daily Bugle and finds himself brainwashed by the real Hobgoblin who uses Ned as a scapegoat. Considering how Peter is now going at it alone and will most likely be applying for that fated Daily Bugle job, he might after all come across Ned in the office, who might follow his comic arc to meet his fated death as a brainwashed villain.
However, it is also to be noted that Marvel has a penchant for digressing from the source and delivering something utterly original and climactic in its own right. If that happens to be the case with the next Spider-Man film (which is currently in development), then one can only rely on the teeming online theories.
Source: Dark House