The following story contains major spoilers for Spider-Man: Homecoming. For real, we discuss the final scenes in the movie, at length. Stop reading now if you clicked in here by accident and haven't yet seen the film. This is your final warning.
Spider-Man movies, in the past, have been criticized for cramming too many villains into one bloated storyline. This approach seemed to doom Andrew Garfield's second (and final) attempt at playing Spidey, as Marc Webb had his hero facing off against Electro, a Goblin and a Rhino... though none of them were fully fleshed out. So it's amazing to see Spider-Man: Homecoming effortlessly pepper the landscape with potential Spider-Man villains, all while giving The Vulture (Michael Keaton) his due. We see The Tinkerer (Michael Chernus) and The Shocker (Bokeem Woodbine). And in two pivotal scenes, Homecoming sets up a villain we may see in the sequel... The Scorpion!
Better Call Saul standout Michael Mando appears in Spider-Man: Homecoming, playing Mac Gargan, a criminal who eventually becomes The Scorpion in the comics. He's identified by Peter's new suit, Karen, during the Staten Island Ferry battle -- and he's badly injured when the FBI interferes, forcing Vulture (Keaton) to bust out his suit and fight Spidey. Gargan, who sports a Scorpion neck tattoo, appears in the first of two mid-credits scenes, confronting Adrian Toomes in prison and saying that he blames Spider-Man for his injuries. He thinks Toomes knows Spidey's true identity, and he wants vengeance on the teenage hero. So at the Spider-Man: Homecoming junket in New York City, I asked Kevin Feige if they planned to being Scorpion back for the 2019 Spidey sequel, and he told me:
We needed a character to be doing -- for the Vulture to be doing business with on the Staten Island Ferry. And we thought it would be fun if he had a scorpion's head tattoo. But I wouldn't read into it much more than that.
Interesting, Kevin Feige seems to downplay the presence of Mac Gargan, and his eventual alter-ego, The Scorpion. Though Michael Mando definitely is wearing some type of mechanical brace or device on his right arm and, possibly, his back when he confronts Toomes (Keaton) in the prison scene. I assumed this would become the start of his Scorpion suit. So I pressed on and asked Spider-Man: Homecoming director Jon Watts if the Scorpion is a villain he'd like to explore in the 2019 Spider-Man sequel, and he seemed far more upbeat. Watts told me:
I haven't really planned anything beyond this movie. But it is nice to have that potential. There are so many things that could be a nice jumping off point for the next movie, and he's definitely one of them. Michael Mando's such a great actor, too. It'd be fun to explore.
The Scorpion also checks off a few boxes from what we have been hearing from Team Spider-Man. Tom Holland has said on record that he wants to face villains that we haven't seen on screen before in previous Spider-Man films. And giving Scorpion a Vulture-type upgrade using the alien tech of the Chitauri could mean that this suit would look less silly in a modern interpretation.
Is The Scorpion a natural fit for the villain (or one of the villains) in a Spider-Man sequel? They have Michael Mando, who's a fantastic actor. They tease him heavily in the mid-credits sequence. And Jon Watts appears game. What do you think? Should this happen?