Spider-Man 4: Jacob Batalon Reacts to Hobgoblin Villain Speculation

By Klein Felt Updated:
Jacob Batalon Ned Leeds Hobgoblin Spider Man 4

Despite having come out nearly four months ago Spider-Man: No Way Home is still top of mind for many comic book movie fans. The web-slinging epic honored the character's nearly 20-year big-screen history, while also setting up what is to come for Tom Holland's webhead in the future. Not much is known about the MCU's Spider-Man 4, but that has not stopped people from thinking about the upcoming sequel

With No Way Home serving as somewhat of a jumping-off point for Holland's version of the character, the possibilities of where things could go in his college years seem immeasurable. Some fans have started to pull on the potential of Jacob Batalon's Ned Leeds becoming the Spidey villain the Hobgoblin, especially after a subtle tease of Ned's potential villainy in No Way Home's third act.

At this point, Ned (and everyone else close to Peter) has forgotten who Peter Parker is, so the former best friend making a heel turn could prove to be exciting on screen. But despite many wanting to see Batalon's character take on a villain role, nobody - including the actor himself - is letting slip any details regarding such a development in a potential fourth movie. 

Jacob Batalon's Thoughts on Playing Hobgoblin

Spider-Man, Ned

In an interview with Variety, MCU Spider-Man trilogy star Jacob Batalon reacted to the idea of his character becoming the villain Hobgoblin in a future film. 

When asked if he would be breaking bad in a potential Spider-Man 4, the actor simply said in "all [his] years of working for Marvel" he has learned "to just not say anything" in regard to rumors and speculation, so he "can’t really speak on" something like that:

"From all my years of working for Marvel, I feel like I’ve learned to just not say anything. I can’t really speak on things and then say something that might actually be true and then I ruin something, you know what I mean?"

Batalon also addressed what it has been like dealing with the level of fame that comes with being in one of the biggest movies of all time. He said it has taught him "a lot about experiencing the world" and what it means to be "someone who people look up to:"

"It taught me a lot about fame and taught me a lot about experiencing the world and what it really means to be someone who people look up to, in a sense. I’ve learned that the most successful people in the world are not fucking assholes and, most importantly, it’s just sort of how I carry myself. I mean, fame is cool, fame is great, but it’s very fickle. More power to you if that’s all you want, but a lot of people, including myself – I feel like I’m searching for longevity."

Lastly, the young star was asked how it felt keeping the secret of Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield appearing in the movie. Batalon called the experience scary, but mentioned that he along with his co-stars "understood it was such a momentous thing," so they worked to "[keep] it as [quiet] as possible" so that everyone could be "surprised and love it:"

"I think it was just the scariness of ruining such a great surprise. We all understood it was such a momentous thing to happen in like, not just a superhero movie, but in cinema. To actually do something that crazy is wild. We just wanted to make sure that we kept it as [quiet] as possible so everyone could genuinely be so surprised and love it."

Can Hobgoblin Come Out to Play

Of course, the actor behind Ned Leeds was not going to lay out all the juicy Spider-Man 4 details here and now. Who truly knows how much about the next MCU Spidey epic he actually knows at this point?

It is fascinating though how quickly Jacob Batalon immediately shuts it down during this interview. At this point, a fourth MCU Spider-Man movie is such a nebulous idea, so what would be the harm in him saying how much fun it would be to go from hero's sidekick to an antagonistic force?

Instead of saying what he said, Batalon could have just as easily pondered on the idea of it for just a moment, revealing what he alone thinks about it. Then he could have come out with, 'Oh, but that is just how I feel. Where Marvel goes is up to them.'

But this is probably the smart move. Batalon has learned how the world will run away with one quote and how things can come back to bite actors. So in an effort to preserve his standing with Marvel Studios, and to avoid being asked about a Hobgoblin quote here for the rest of eternity, he just shuts things down before they get started. 

- In This Article: Spider-Man: No Way Home
Release Date
December 17, 2021
- About The Author: Klein Felt
Klein Felt is a Senior Editor at The Direct. Joining the website back in 2020, he helped jumpstart video game content on The Direct. Klein plays a vital role as a part of the site's content team, demonstrating expertise in all things PlayStation, Marvel, and the greater entertainment industry.