If you've followed Spider-Man movies up until this point, then you know what's coming. Or, rather, what might be coming. According to a theory that came out ahead of Spider-Man: No Way Home, some fans believe Ned will become the Hobgoblin in the 2021 movie. In a handful of other Spider-Man iterations that came before this one, Peter Parker's best friend turned on him. Could it happen this time around too?
Will Ned become the Hobgoblin in 'Spider-Man: No Way Home'?
According to the theory, which was posted on TikTok and made the rounds on the internet, Ned will likely turn into the Hobgoblin in Spider-Man: No Way Home.
This theory looks at what happened with best-friend characters in earlier Spider-Man movies, which starred Tobey Maguire and later Andrew Garfield as the titular web-slingers in their respective films.
A video on TikTok shows images of Tobey Maguire and James Franco from the 2002 Spider-Man movie with a photo of James's version of the Green Goblin.
There's another photo of Andrew Garfield and Dane DeHaan in 2014's The Amazing Spider-Man 2. Next to that image is one of Dane as the Green Goblin.
A third photo shows Tom Holland from the more recent Spider-Man movies with his on-screen bestie Ned, played by Jacob Batalon. The picture next to that shows a version of the Hobgoblin. The implication is that history will repeat itself and Ned, Peter's best friend in this version of the Spider-Man films, will turn into the villain.
Yes, we know, it would be nothing short of devastating for our boy Ned.
In the comics, there is a version of Ned who turns into the Hobgoblin. As a reporter for the Daily Bugle, he investigates the villain known as the Hobgoblin. When he's brainwashed by him, he becomes the villain himself, if only for a short time.
While Ned and Peter are still high school students in the MCU, some version of this could play out in the movie. Especially as the Multiverse is opened up. Will Ned play a central villain, though? That seems unlikely.
The actor who plays Ned in the 'Spider-Man' movies spent some significant time in the gym.
In the time between the filming of 2019's Spider-Man: Far From Home and the upcoming Spider-Man: No Way Home, Jacob Batalon, who plays Ned, lost a significant amount of weight. He showed off his weight loss and time in the gym on Instagram. And, some believe, it was in preparation for Spider-Man: No Way Home.
In 2019, Jacob spoke with Screen Rant about his character's direction in the future. And he voiced his own support for Ned becoming Hobgoblin at some point.
He admitted he has a "theory of Ned becoming [the] Hobgoblin" even though he hopes the writers don't kill him off, as Ned’s version of the Hobgoblin dies in the comics.
No one has confirmed Ned's transformation in the third Tom Holland Spider-Man movie.
So far, Ned remains a best friend and close confidant to Peter. Even if he becomes the Hobgoblin in No Way Home, the story could be altered to let him live. This is Ned, after all. He's one soul we can't afford to lose in the battle ahead.