William Ginter Riva is a former Stark Industries scientist. In 2009, Riva was a member of a science team ordered by Obadiah Stane to try and recreate the Arc Reactor technology after Tony Stark returned to the United States of America after having been kidnapped by the Ten Rings in Afghanistan, only to quickly fail at the task and be berated for his failures by his superior, who ultimately went to create the Iron Monger Armor.
By 2024, Riva joined forces with Quentin Beck out of a mutual disdain for Stark and worked with him and other ex-Stark Industries employees to wreak havoc across Europe, building Beck's reputation as a renowned superhero. However, following Beck's defeat, Riva was instrumental in releasing Spider-Man's identity to the world, as he directly sent the altered footage of the Battle of London to The Daily Bugle that incriminated Spider-Man for the attacks.
Recreating the Arc Reactor
During his tenure as a scientist for Stark Industries, William Ginter Riva developed the Stark Industries Combat Drones. In 2009, William Ginter Riva was forced by Obadiah Stane to make a suit for him, similar to the ones that Tony Stark made in Afghanistan while kidnapped by the Ten Rings earlier that year.
With work on the suit on the way, Stane met with Riva and demanded that he and his co-workers to "dig deeper" as the stakes couldn't be higher, to which Riva told him that they were still having difficulty with the propulsion system and how to crack the power, asking him if he could collaborate with the toroidal fusion group. Stane turned down his request as what they were making was a secret data mass project from which nothing could leave the room, leading him to give an speech about the importance of their current technology, vision, and power over mankind.
Having little progress on the armored suit matter, Stane attempted to get Riva to make a miniature version of the Arc Reactor, like Stark's. Riva confessed though that he was not of the same caliber of genius as Stark, because he could not reproduce his results. When Stane criticized him for being unable to build what Stark did in a cave with a box of scraps, Riva replied that he wasn't Stark, earning him his superior's fury.
By 2024, Riva had decided to work for Quentin Beck, who was also disregarded for his work for Stark Industries. Riva helped to program his battle drones to be equipped with Beck's technology to make the illusions of the Elementals that were "terrorizing the continent". Riva was in charge of managing and maintaining the attack drones equipped with Beck's specialized illusion tech, ranging and calculating the amounts of damage they would inflict in the events directed by Beck.
When Beck discovered a drone is missing one projector, Riva dismissed it as a minor inconvenience. However, Beck soon found footage of Michelle Jones finding the projector and threatened to shoot Riva in the head with one of his drones if the matter was not resolved. Fearful, Riva complied and worked to compensate for the weaker drone and ensure to Beck's story was not discovered by Parker's friends.
Exposing Spider-Man's Identity
The Battle of London took place and had unfolded as plan in the opening sequence, but everything derailed as Spider-Man intervened to expose the illusion. Mysterio called off the illusion, sending the Stark Industries Combat Drones into blatant hunter-kill mode to go after Spider-Man's friends and defend himself. However, Mysterio ended up killing himself by an accidental misfire from a drone gunshot while trying to kill Spider-Man. Turning to a fallback plan, Riva used recorded footage from the scene with the drones on Tower Bridge's walkway, and uploaded it into a computer drive along with Mysterio's illusion technology. Riva later edited the recordings into a video of altered events in London. Riva depicted Mysterio as the hero, while Spider-Man was the culprit commanding a drone fleet, before sending the video to the The Daily Bugle host, J. Jonah Jameson, who then released the altered video to global news outlets which framed Spider-Man as a murderer alongside exposing his secret identity to the entire world.
A fairly passive man, William Ginter Riva shows confidence in his work and that of his colleagues. While working for Obadiah Stane at Stark Industries, he was seen as sociable amidst his co-workers, although he became timid and reserved in the presence of his employer.
Following Tony Stark's death in 2023, Riva joined Quentin Beck's Crew and displayed an efficient yet relaxed nature when managing the combat drones. While trusting of his leader, Quentin Beck, Riva was still fearful of him; particularly after Riva's oversight of a drone's illusion projector caused Beck to threaten his life, alongside the other crew members. However, Riva still demonstrated a loyalty to Beck and the mission as he still downloaded the illusion tech software and uploaded a falsified "recovered footage" of Mysterio's 'final moments' from the Battle of London continuing the plan to destroy Spider-Man after his employer's demise.
- Expert Engineer: Riva built the very drones that Stark used in the orbital array satellite E.D.I.T.H. had control over, and even built his own drones to equip Quentin Beck's illusion tech.
- Main Console: A specialty computer designed only for commanding the Drone Fleet and coordinating their illusions.
- E.D.I.T.H. Linked Computer Station: Following Quentin Beck's claim to E.D.I.T.H. in Prague, Riva was to uplink a connection to Beck's drone fleet so as to have a larger influence of weaponized illusion capable drones. In so doing, Riva was able to use a large pool of video footage to edit and manipulate how the public to see Spider-Man as a criminal.
- Stark Industries Combat Drones: Multifaceted assault drones with stealth hover capabilities incorporating Beck's illusion tech, and large surplus ammunition supplies.
- Stark Industries Headquarters: By the late 2000's, Riva was a scientist and engineer co-responsible for the upkeep and redesign of the primary Arc Reactor powering the company into a miniature design similar to Tony Stark's. It was in that same facility that Riva would co-create the Iron Monger Armor for Obadiah Stane, but was detained by S.H.I.E.L.D. during the Duel of Los Angeles.
- Quentin Beck's Hideout: Riva and his colleagues used this undisclosed location as their headquarters to orchestrate and rehearse their plans to deceive Spider-Man and Nick Fury.
Behind the Scenes
- William Ginter Riva was named after production crew members of Iron Man, whose names were "Ginter" and "Riva", while Jeff Bridges choose the name "William" as he felt that it suited Peter Billingsley's character. Billingsley in turn came up with the idea to make his character bald as a sign of solidarity towards Bridges, who shaved his head due his role as Obadiah Stane.
- William Ginter Riva's appearance in Spider-Man: Far From Home was because, according to Kevin Feige, they thought it would be fun to bring him back as a way to tie-in with other installments of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. When Mysterio was settled as the main antagonist, director Jon Watts saw Iron Man again and selected Riva after asking himself who else could be affected by Tony Stark's death.
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- ‘In a Cave! With a Box of Scraps!’: How an Iconic Marvel Cinematic Insult Came to Be
- MARVEL'S KEVIN FEIGE ON THE MCU MULTIVERSE, 'FAR FROM HOME' POST-CREDITS SCENES AND THE FUTURE OF SPIDER-MAN
- ‘Spider-Man: Far From Home’ Spoilers: Director Jon Watts on the Post-Credits Scene, the Song He Wrote for the Film, and More [Interview]