Spider-Man 3: No Way Home Teases How Tobey Maguire's Green Goblin Will Return

By Sam Hargrave Posted:
Spider-Man Green Goblin Willem Dafoe No Way Home

Spider-Man: No Way Home has undeniably been shrouded in more mystery than any Marvel project since Avengers: Endgame. It wasn't until February, just ten months before release, that Sony finally revealed the film's official title, and since then fans have been anxiously awaiting the inevitable trailer release.

With Alfred Molina's Doc Ock, Jamie Foxx's Electro, and Benedict Cumberbatch's Doctor Strange all confirmed to return, it's been clear for some time that the multiverse will play a key role in Spider-Man's latest adventure.

However, it doesn't seem the villainous returns stop there as rumors have indicated Willem Dafeo's Green Goblin and Thomas Hayden Church's Sandman may also reprise their classic roles.

Now that the long-awaited trailer has finally hit the web, Sony and Marvel appear to have offered the first tease towards Dafoe's highly-anticipated return as Norman Osborn aka Green Goblin.


After months of rumors, the first trailer for Spider-Man: No Way Home has hinted at its team-up of villains from across the multiverse with teases towards Alfred Molina's Doc Ock, Jamie Foxx's Electro, and Willem Dafoe's Green Goblin.

Spider-Man Green goblin

Towards the end of the trailer, Tom Holland's Peter Parker can be seen donning his iconic Iron Spider suit in the middle of a road. During a shot that appears to be from the same scene, a pumpkin bomb can be spotted rolling down the street before exploding and causing mass destruction. 

Spider-Man Green goblin

Pumpkin bombs have been a key part of Green Goblin's arsenal for some time now, having been used by Willem Dafoe's Norman Osborn in 2002's Spider-Man, and later James Franco's New Goblin in Spider-Man 3.

Green Goblin Pumpkin Bomb Spider-Man
Sony Pictures


With three major villains already revealed to return from past Spider-Man franchises, it's becoming increasingly apparent that No Way Home will finally assemble the Sinister Six for the first time in live-action

Previous reports have suggested Willem Dafoe's Norman Osborn will serve as the main villain of the Spider-Man sequel, indicating Green Goblin may take up the baton as leader of the potential Sinister Six. 

Green Goblin made his live-action debut in 2002's Spider-Man but unfortunately died before the end of the film during his fight with Tobey Maguire's web-slinger. Similarly, both Alfred Molina's Doc Ock and Jamie Foxx's Electro were also seemingly killed during the climax of their debut appearances.

Based on this, it's hard to determine how exactly these three villains could return to cause trouble for Tom Holland's Peter Parker. It remains entirely possible that Dafoe, Foxx, and Molina are actually playing totally different versions of their original characters, either from the main MCU or another universe altogether. 

Alternatively, perhaps the villains will be pulled into the MCU from their own timelines at a point after their villainous origins but prior to their deaths in order to hunt down another Peter Parker.

Alfred Molina has previously revealed he will be de-aged for his return as the villainous scientist, something which is apparent during the trailer, potentially indicating Willem Dafoe may receive a similar treatment.

As both of the legendary stars are now in their sixties and almost a decade has passed since they made their Marvel debuts, it makes sense to take advantage of CGI advancements to have them resemble their younger selves. Since only seven years have passed since The Amazing Spider-Man 2 hit theaters, it's unlikely Jamie Foxx will require the same treatment for his return as Electro.

Assuming Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield do reprise their wall-crawler roles, it would be intriguing to see the Spider-Men interact with some of their old foes. However, Marvel Studios probably want to ensure No Way Home is understandable to those familiar with the past franchises, so it's unlikely any specific plot point from Maguire or Garfield's films will be mentioned. 


Within Marvel Comics, Norman Osborn has much larger connections to the wider comic universe than just his mantle of Green Goblin. The billionaire villain has historically had significant links to the Thunderbolts, Dark Avengers, and even Iron Patriot, a mantle he occupied for some time.

Fans have been hoping to see Norman Osborn join the MCU for some time now, so many are hoping Dafoe's return won't close the doors to a new actor taking on the role in the years to come. Given the actor's older age, it's unlikely Dafoe will be looking to spend any extended amount of time in this role, meaning his return is probably a one-and-done appearance. 

Loki has already established that Variants of the same person from across the multiverse can look totally different, so there's nothing to stop another actor from becoming the main MCU timeline's Norman Osborn in the years to come. Some popular fan casts from the role include Interstellar's Matthew McConaughey and The Walking Dead's David Morrissey.

Whatever the character's future may be, Norman Osborn appears set to play an integral role as the main antagonist of No Way Home. When the film eventually arrives in theaters, Marvel fans ought to get a better idea of what the Green Goblin's MCU future could look like.

Spider-Man: No Way Home hits theaters on December 17, 2021.

- In This Article: Spider-Man: No Way Home
Release Date
December 17, 2021
- About The Author: Sam Hargrave
Sam Hargrave is the Associate Editor at The Direct. He joined the team as a gaming writer in 2020 before later expanding into writing for all areas of The Direct and taking on further responsibilities such as editorial tasks and image creation.