Green Goblin wasn’t always the big bad of Spider-Man: No Way Home

Green Goblin from Columbia Pictures' SPIDER-MAN: NO WAY HOME.
Green Goblin from Columbia Pictures' SPIDER-MAN: NO WAY HOME. /

One of the screenwriters of Spider-Man: No Way Home discusses how the Green Goblin came to be the movie’s main villain. 

The rumors around Spider-Man: No Way Home‘s mysterious cast are legendary. After the confirmation that Jamie Foxx would reprise his role from The Amazing Spider-Man 2 in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, the rumors started flowing and they did not stop until the film hit movie theaters.

One villain at the center of those rumors was Norman Osborn, a.k.a. the Green Goblin. Played by Willem Dafoe, who reprised his role from Sam Raimi’s trilogy, fans speculated that he might return for some time before it was eventually confirmed.

Dafoe’s returning Green Goblin actually ended up playing the primary villainous role in No Way Home, but it turns out that this wasn’t always how the movie was going to look.

How Green Goblin became the main villain in Spider-Man: No Way Home

In an interview with Gold Derby (H/T: CBR), Spider-Man: No Way Home co-writer Chris McKenna confirmed that Willem Dafoe’s Green Goblin was not always the main villain of the film.

He was always supposed to appear in it, but it seems that he was just going to be among the many returning super-villains in an early draft of the script. But as the film evolved, it was decided that he would become the main antagonist instead.

McKenna stated:

"“This movie went through a rapid change. He was not the main villain of this movie for, like, the whole first version of the script. He was not the main villain. He was a villain and then we lost other characters, and then we kept on going ‘Well, it has to be him. He’s the one who now is the antagonist of the movie. We have to make him the antagonist’ […] He has to have been given a second chance and he’s still doing what he was doing in the first movie, but in a darker way that then, well, that now relates to Peter Parker, if that makes sense.”"

Dafoe’s performance as Norman Osborn / Green Goblin in No Way Home was undoubtedly one of the highlights of Jon Watts’ latest entry in the franchise. He arguably stole the spotlight from other characters, even Molina’s Otto Octavius / Doctor Octopus, who at one point seemed like he might be the main villain of the film. That said, most of the recurring baddies did each get their time to shine.

No Way Home brought the on-screen Spider-Man story full circle as, like the Sam Raimi trilogy, the Green Goblin ended up shaping a version of Spidey through his actions, and giving him that major emotional obstacle to overcome.

The global phenomenon that is a celebration of the Marvel wallcrawler across all of the respective film series in the franchise has grossed $1.7 billion worldwide against its budget of $200 million. It was the highest-grossing film of 2021 and is currently the sixth-highest-grossing film of all time.

No Way Home received mainly positive reviews from critics and garnered a highly positive response from fans too, much of which praised its story, direction, action sequences, and performances from the cast. Despite not qualifiying for the BAFTAs, Sony campaigned rather heavily for some major Oscar nominations. It did ultimately receive one nomination at the Academy Awards, Best Visual Effects – an award nomination that MCU films are familiar with but also one that none have won as of yet.

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What are your thoughts on Willem Dafoe’s Green Goblin not being the main villain in the original script? Are you interested to know who initially was the Big Bad? Did you enjoy Spider-Man: No Way Home? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!