People are still trying to put the pieces together of how Avengers 4 will address the climax of Avengers: Infinity War, but the wheels of moviemaking don't have time to wait. Marvel Studios has to get Phase 4 underway, and thus we have Spider-Man: Far From Home. Plot details are top secret, but the biggest news is that Jake Gyllenhaal reportedly signed on to play Mysterio, the main villain. While this has yet to be officially confirmed, there are theories that spoiler master Tom Holland may have let slip that another villain will also be appearing in the sequel: Hydro-Man.
Spider-Man: Far From Home is currently filming and Tom Holland posted a video from the set joking that he did all his own stunts while his stunt double gets blasted by a gush of water in the background. The purpose of the video was to promote a chance to win a visit to the set, but that didn't stop fans from taking the water theme and connected it straight to Spider-Man's exclusively water-based villain, Hydro-Man.
Now just about anything can cause a blast of water. Hell, Mysterio -- a master of special effects -- probably has at least a dozen ways to make that happen. However, the idea of Hydro-Man in the movie is interesting, and it does actually provide some opportunities that we haven't seen in the movies yet.
Hydro-Man is one of the lesser knowns of Spider-Man's villains, falling somewhere on the C-list. His name is Morris Bench and he used to be a crewman for a cargo ship. However, he was thrown overboard during a battle between Spider-Man and Namor the Submariner while an experimental generator was being tested in the ocean. (Obviously the best place to test dangerous, experimental technology.) The energy from the generator mixed with the ocean gave Morris the ability to become and manipulate water. The best way to think about him is that he has literally the same powers as Sandman, but with water. Like all Spider-Man villains, Morris blames the Wall-Crawler for his transformation and swears vengeance.
Hydro-Man doesn't go much deeper than that, and his schemes usually revolve around making money. He's not the most interesting villain, but his powers make him an extremely dangerous foe, adding to his appeal for a movie. MCU Spider-Man has never fought a villain with that kind of power before, and it would make a great test for Spidey as he grows as a superhero. Beating a guy who can't be punched is a pretty good superhero challenge.
The theories of Hydro-Man's inclusion are slightly helped by the fact that the character was rumored before Tom Holland's video. Marvel reportedly showed off Far From Home concept art in which Spidey was battling Hydro-Man through the canals of Venice, according to this YouTube video. Obviously this is an unfounded rumor from a single source, and by itself, it shouldn't be taken without lots of salt. However, the set design in Holland's video does happen to feature Venice memorabilia and the movie is set in Europe, for what it's worth.
This is not to say that Hydro-Man would be the main villain. He reeks of secondary villain status, and it's hardly unusual for superhero movies to have more than one villain. Spider-Man: Homecoming had Vulture as the main villain, while the Shocker and Tinkerer backed him up. It could be that Hydro-Man fills out this role for Mysterio. They aren't two characters that traditionally go together, but Marvel Studios has never been a slave to the comics before, and Hydro-Man is a character that could benefit from an update.
Hydro-Man is kind of a boring character, but that doesn't mean he's completely useless. The 1990s Spider-Man cartoon got some decent mileage out of him by reworking him as Mary Jane's ex-boyfriend who never really got over her. His main goal was to "win" her back, despite her total lack of interest and Spider-Man's repeated interference. The character contributed to a pretty big plot twist in the final days of the show, so it's not like the character can't be utilized to effect. However, it should be noted that Hydro-Man was only used because the show wasn't allowed to use Sandman.
The fact that Hydro-Man isn't prominent in the comics might be an advantage though. It means that there is more freedom to change and alter the character to fit into the movie. Vulture, Shocker and Tinkerer are not characters that get a lot of spotlight in any medium, so Homecoming was able to bring something fresh to the table. Hydro-Man has mostly appeared in cartoons, so he's in a similar boat (pun INTENDED).
Hydro-Man may not be the most interesting villain to ever ruin Spider-Man's day, but his powers make him a cool choice to see on the big screen. Plus, his lack of mainstream appeal offers something that people haven't seen in a Spider-Man movie yet. Whether the character actually shows up is anyone's guess at the moment. Regardless, Spider-Man: Far From Home, with or without Hydro-Man, swings into theaters on July 5, 2019.