Spider-Man: No Way Home brought back legendary villains from previous Spider-Man movies such as Willem Dafoe's Green Goblin, Alfred Molina's Doctor Octopus, and Jamie Foxx's Electro. Many would agree that the sinister comeback of these characters was a welcome sight for old and new Marvel fans, but it also raises questions about the future rogue's gallery of Tom Holland's Peter Parker in the MCU.
One of the highly-talked-about performances in No Way Home is Dafoe as Green Goblin. The veteran actor portrayed two versions of the character in the movie, a nicer and calm Norman Osborn and a vengeful and terrifying Green Goblin. As a result, the character's duality enhanced Dafoe's portrayal in the movie.
This is on top of the cast's praise toward Dafoe behind the scenes. Holland recalled his scary first encounter with Dafoe on set while Zendaya admitted that the actor "scared the hell out of everyone" while mimicking his Green Goblin voice off-camera.
Dafoe's impressive performance raises the question of whether or not the MCU will have its own Norman Osborn at some point in the franchise's future. Now, a new interview may have shed some light on this subject matter.
No Way Home's Willem Da-Foe & Oscorp Omission
Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige sat down with Comicbook to discuss the return of Willem Dafoe's return as Norman Osborn in Spider-Man: No Way Home.
Feige first explained Marvel Studios' strategy in bringing Spider-Man into the MCU, sharing that it was always the goal to "make [Peter Parker] much younger" and to emphasize that "it's set within the broader Marvel universe." At the end of the day, it all boiled down to answering the question: "How do we do things that have never been done before?":
"When we had the chance to bring Spider-Man into the MCU with Homecoming, it was really exploring two things that had never been explored before in the Spidey movies. One was making him much younger, that he's in his early years of high school and dealing with what it's like to be that young and to have these powers, and to really relish the high school setting. And the other one was that it's set within the broader Marvel universe and that there are other heroes there. So for the first few films, it was always, 'How do we do things that have never been done before?'"
The Marvel boss continued by explaining the return of Dafoe as Norman Osborn, confirming that "it did not occur" to the studio to do "an Oscorp story" in the MCU:
"It did not occur to us to do a new Goblin story, or to do an Oscorp story, or to do Doc Ock, or anyone that had been done before, which is why Vulture and Mysterio were really the key characters. Even as we were doing that — and I had been saying for years, even before anybody asked me what I thought — that you can't get better than Alfred Molina as Doc Ock."
Will the MCU Have Its Own Green Goblin?
Many would agree that it would be hard to top Dafoe's performance as Green Goblin in No Way Home, and it seems that Marvel Studios' Kevin Feige concurs with that sentiment.
It is unknown if the MCU will explore another version of Norman Osborn at some point, but it appears that it will hold off for now. In a way, this makes narrative sense, especially after No Way Home's seamless inclusion of Dafoe's Spider-Man villain in the movie.
Feige's latest comment cements the fact that the studio is aware of the best path forward for the MCU's Spider-Man, and rehashing previous villains as new versions in the interconnected franchise could cause some trouble narrative-wise down the line. It could also serve as a point of comparison, and the actor who could portray the MCU's Norman Osborn will have a large hole to fill after Dafoe's portrayal.
No Way Home included a clear reference that Oscorp doesn't exist or is not widely known in the larger MCU, thus establishing Feige's remark that they are not considering another Osborn-Parker rivalry in the future.
Doing this would allow Sony and Marvel to explore other Spider-Man characters from the comics, such as Kraven the Hunter, Scorpion, Black Cat, and even Ned Leeds as Hobgoblin. This presents an opportunity for fresh stories that could further propel Holland's take on the web-slinger.
Spider-Man: No Way Home is now playing in theaters worldwide.