Warning: MAJOR SPOILERS for Spider-Man: Far From Home ahead.
Mysterio’s (Jake Gyllenhaal) elaborate deceitful plan involved several people to pull off in Spider-Man: Far From Home, apparently including one pivotal member who previously appeared in Iron Man – but did he really? After the events of Avengers: Endgame, Far From Home is the public’s first glimpse at a post-Thanos Marvel Cinematic Universe. While Peter Parker (Tom Holland) and the rest of the world mourns the death of Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.), the young hero won’t have the luxury of time as he’s thrust into a new mission.
Recruited by Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) to fight the so-called Elemental creatures, Spider-Man reluctantly joins in and teams up with Quentin Beck/Mysterio – a hero from another dimension who traveled to Peter’s Earth through an inter dimensional portal that opened up after Thanos’ (Josh Brolin) snap in Avengers: Infinity War. But fans of the comic books knew better than to blindly trust anything that Beck says considering his conniving ways from the comic books. As it turns out, everything was part of Mysterio’s evil plan to get ahold of the E.D.I.T.H. technology. This way, Beck can continue to project himself as an Avengers-type of hero. Like Spider-Man: Homecoming‘s Vulture (Michael Keaton), Mysterio is fueled by his grudge against Stark, as are his cohorts. But there’s one specific member of his team that fans have previously seen in an Iron Man film.
William Ginter Riva was the primary technical guy for Mysterio in Far From Home. He controlled the drones that created the illusions for their fake Elementals and he also provided tech support to Mysterio while they both orchestrated these made-up threats behind-the-scenes. Some fans who have been an avid fan of the MCU may find Riva quite familiar. It’s because he was the same, poor scientist that Obadiah Stane (Jeff Bridges) chastised for not being able to re-create the Iron Man mini arc-reactor which Stark made “in a cave! With a box of scraps!” This is something that Beck pointed out during his creative expository scene – and it was true.
The character is played by Peter Billingsley, who was also the Ralphie Parker from 1983’s A Christmas Story. The 48-year-old is a close friend of Jon Favreau, hence why he’s appeared in a handful of the filmmaker’s projects. In fact, Billingsley even had a executive producer credit for Iron Man. After Riva’s appearance in the 2008 film, there was no word about his whereabouts until now. Far From Home didn’t reveal how he came together with Beck to carry out the ruse in 2024. But since Beck was still with Stark Industries until 2016, as he was involved in the creation of the B.AR.F. (Binarily Augmented Retro-Framing), there’s a chance that they both met at the company at that point.
Mysterio may be dead in the MCU, but the rest of his crew, particularly Riva, is still around. That means, that there is a chance that he’ll factor in future Spider-Man adventures moving forward. It seems like he has a hand behind the identity of the web-slinging hero revealed at the end of Spider-Man: Far From Home. But with previous access to E.D.I.T.H., not to mention that he was wasn’t outed in the film, he could cause more damage in the franchise if he teams up again with another prominent villain.
More: Every Marvel Movie Coming After Spider-Man: Far From Home