A lot of the focus for Spider-Man: No Way Home has been on which actors will or won’t appear in the film, and how that will change the story. It’s easy to forget that there are plenty of characters confirmed for No Way Home. Characters like Aunt May, Happy Hogan, and Ned Leeds are all going to be showing up in Tom Holland’s third solo movie, and while someone like Ned Leeds is often on the side, he’s been in quite a few movies now. Will Spider-Man: No Way Home be giving him any more screen time? While he hasn’t appeared in much of the movie’s marketing so far, we’ve learned he has some important things coming his way this time around. A trusted and proven inside source for Giant Freakin Robot has revealed a big fate for Jacob Batalon’s character in Spider-Man: No Way Home.
In the upcoming movie, Jacob Batalon’s character, Ned Leeds, will discover he has magic. Our source shared that this magic runs in his family. During one important moment in Spider-Man: No Way Home, Doctor Strange’s cloak of levitation is going to attach to Ned Leeds. This moment will be the big tease hinting at the truth of his character and his magic. The cloak of levitation attaches to Ned Leeds as a sign that he has a future as a wizard in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Clearly, this is big and exciting news for Ned Leeds. Marvel has made clear that Spider-Man’s sidekick is important by having him appear in movies like Endgame. The third movie in the trilogy is an important one. For Jacob Batalon’s character, it’s a moment where they could have established a few different fates ahead. Some examples could have been that Ned Leeds moves forward alongside Tom Holland as a background side character. Or, he could have had the same fate he had in the comics, could have been forgotten as Tom Holland moved forward without him, or as they appear to be choosing, they could have Ned Leeds pursue his own exciting destiny in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
We were unable to learn whether there are any future projects planned for Jacob Batalon. Certainly the kind of story they’re setting up for him here with Spider-Man: No Way Home hints at one. It wouldn’t be surprising to see him appear in a future Doctor Strange movie after this, or perhaps one of the many upcoming series Marvel has planned for Disney+.
Fans of the Marvel comics may have their own reactions to this new revelation for Ned Leeds. Those who want the Marvel Cinematic Universe to stick more to the source material may be upset. Those who want to avoid the depressing fate of Ned Leeds in the comics may be relieved. In the comics, Jacob Batalon’s character starts working for The Daily Bugle, gets married, eventually loses his job to protect his best friend Spider-Man, becomes Hobgoblin, loses his marriage, and then dies. Clearly, that wasn’t exactly the most upbeat character arc for the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s sidekick. Ned Leeds developing magical powers will give him his own superpowered arc, like he had as Hobgoblin in the comics, but with a future that remains more of a mystery to audiences, and hopefully, a happier one.