‘Spider-Man: Far From Home': How Realistic Is Mysterio’s Illusion Technology?

“We begin to see the blurring of the lines between the digital and physical world,” futurist Brian David Johnson says

(Note: Spoilers ahead for the themes and plots of Sony’s Marvel film “Spider-Man: Far From Home.”)

At the center of “Spider-Man: Far From Home” is Jake Gyllenhaal’s charming, theatrical and unstable Mysterio, who at first appears to be a costumed crusader fighting to save Earth from dangerous otherworldly monsters. But in reality — if you can call it that — he’s the leader of a crew of slighted high tech con artists using advanced combat drones equipped with a new type of “illusion” technology capable of projecting complex images into the physical world that seem real. Thus the monsters are fake, and so is his ridiculous backstory and his apparent superpowers.

It’s a great plot device, essentially weaponizing deepfakes, but just how plausible is the technology? According to Brian David Johnson, futurist in residence at Arizona State University’s Center for Science and the Imagination, something at least similar to that tech could happen much sooner than we think.

“We’re going to have a collection of technologies over the next 10 years that come online that are going to make this very, very real,” Johnson said. “First and foremost there’s gonna be artificial intelligence and machine learning, so the ability for…

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Trey Williams

Film Reporter covering the biz • trey.williams@thewrap.com • Twitter: @trey3williams