See Michael Shannon As Spider-Man’s Greatest Foe

Michael Shannon is Norman Osborn aka the Green Goblin in this digital fan art.

By Nathan Kamal | Published

michael shannon green goblin

Michael Shannon is one of our most intimidating actors, with a uniquely intense style of delivery that can make even a letter from an angry sorority seem like doomsday. This image from digital artist Subi Özil (via Instagram) imagines Michael Shannon as Spider-Man’s archnemesis Norman Osborn, aka the Green Goblin. The Man of Steel actor is no stranger to comic book movies, so this raises our hopes that we could maybe one day see this come to be.

The post shows two slightly different images of Michael Shannon as Green Goblin, with the first being stylized as broken glass and the second without. The image of Michael Shannon has him staring straight forward with a distant, troubled look in one blue eye and the other glowing deep yellow-orange, the skin around it turning the color of the classic Green Goblin. He is wearing a suit in the villain’s trademark purple, with his left shoulder grasped by a green clawed hand from just off-panel. 

All in all, it is a good representation of both Michael Shannon as Green Goblin and the villain’s fractured psyche in which he sees himself as possessed by a dark spirit that overrides Norman Osborne’s better impulses. While Shannon has not been rumored to appear in any prospective Spider-Man films, this is pretty good proof of concept of him as a villain to the Web-Slinger.

In both the first two Sam Raimi Spider-Man films and the Marvel Cinematic Universe Spider-Man: No Way Home, the Green Goblin was played by Willem Dafoe, who co-starred with Michael Shannon in the Werner Herzog 2009 film My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done. Marvel Studios has not revealed any details about a prospective Spider-Man 4 with Tom Holland, but there is always the possibility that a new version of the Goblin will be showing up.

In the meantime, Michael Shannon has a pretty full slate of films. He recently starred with Jessica Chastain in Showtime’s limited series George & Tammy as country legends George Jones and Tammy Wynette. Michael Shannon also appeared in the period piece mystery Amsterdam alongside Christian Bale, John David Washington, and Margot Robbie, as well as the ensemble action film Bullet Train with Brad Pitt, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, and Joey King. 

Michael Shannon will make his debut as a director in 2023 with Eric Larue, an adaptation of a play by Brett Neveu, a member of Chicago’s A Red Orchid Theater (which Shannon co-founded). He will also star in The Bikeriders, a generational story about a motorcycle club from his frequent collaborator, filmmaker Mike Nichols.

michael shannon

But most importantly of all, Michael Shannon will be reprising the role of Kryptonian madman General Zod in the frequently delayed Ezra Miller movie The Flash. It will be Shannon’s first appearance in the DC Universe since 2016’s Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, in which he briefly cameoed as the villain’s corpse. The Flash will also feature the return of Terence Stamp as another version of the Kryptonian despot, so we might get some Michael Shannon vs Stamp action.