With Spider-Man: No Way Home gearing up to be a massive movie event with cameos from all over the Spidey universe including characters from previous iterations of the franchise, there’s been quite a bit of speculation about how things would play out. Well, we are possibly getting a little closer to understanding some of the plot points and how the cameos will work out in the hierarchy of the film. It appears they’ve actually landed on who the main villain will be too and it’s a bit unexpected. According to ComicBook and via a podcast for Collider, it looks like Willem Dafoe is returning to this world and his Green Goblin will be the main bad guy in the movie.
There were three cinematic Spider-Man rogues already confirmed to appear in Spider-Man: No Way Home, and the friendly neighborhood wallcrawler’s live-action multiverse seems increasingly prepped and ready to make the Marvel Cinematic Universe its spanking new base of operations. Tom Holland’s third solo movie as Peter Parker has enough rumored co-stars, it’s practically bursting at the seams, but what is the film’s premise, exactly? With the Willam Dafoe casting, we are getting closer to knowing.
Marvel has been struggling to keep its cast list hush-hush, but has managed to leave the plot completely up to speculation. So, Spider-Man’s secret identity has been outed by Mysterio/Quentin Beck (Jake Gyllenhaal) in Far From Home and will have to clear his name in the next film, but where does that leave our favorite webhead afterward? What’s the bulk of the screenplay going to be about? No Way Home already has three villains written in. Those are The Amazing Spider-Man’s Electro/Max Dillon (Jamie Foxx), the Raimi movies’ Doctor Octopus/Otto Octavius (Alfred Molina), and the MCU’s Vulture/Adrian Toomes (Michael Keaton). It appears they will be compromising most of the Sinister Six with Defoe’s Green Goblin leading the group.
The MCU already has a whopping three more Spider-Man villains set up: Scorpion/Mac Gargan (Michael Mando), Shocker/Herman Schultz (Bokeem Woodbine), and Prowler/Aaron Davis (Donald Glover). The Sony Pictures Universe of Marvel Characters, also part of MCU canon, has four: Venom/Eddie Brock (Tom Hardy), Carnage/Cletus Kasady (Woody Harrelson), Michael Morbius (Jared Leto), and Kraven the Hunter (Aaron Taylor-Johnson). Marvel Studios is nothing if not calculating; every single cameo or otherwise unrelated plot point is planted early on purpose, its intended use revealed later, and no cleverly placed Easter egg is ever fully coincidental.
So, if Tobey Maguire’s and Andrew Garfield’s onscreen enemies make the cut, Spider-Man: No Way Home would then have a completed Sinister Six. Is that Kevin Feige’s preconceived sequence all along? Collider’s senior film writer Jeff Sneider alleges exactly that. With Willem Dafoe reportedly being primed to reprise the role of Green Goblin/Norman Osborn in No Way Home, not as cameo-related fanservice but as the film’s main villain and leader of the Sinister Six.
Sneider’s most recent podcast episode from The Sneider Cut: Collider Movie News claims Dafoe’s Goblin, like J.K. Simmons’s J. Jonah Jameson, will feature as a recurring foil for Tom Holland’s Spider-Man long after No Way Home and is effectively here to stay. The Marvel Cinematic Multiverse’s Sinister Six is said to include every single villain that appeared in all three movie iterations of the webcrawler, assuming Mysterio is still alive as well.
If this rumor does ring true, then it’s clear why Benedict Cumberbatch’s Doctor Strange is irrevocably involved. Tom Holland’s Peter Parker is only beginning to establish himself as a superhero independent of Iron Man and the Avengers, and though he has already tackled various otherworldly threats, he has yet to face a whole team of supervillains all by himself. To date, he’s only ever taken down Vulture and Mysterio. And he needed help both times. A multiverse-level cataclysm of this scale would require an extra Avenger — everyone currently on S.H.I.E.L.D.’s payroll, if possible — and as many Spider-Men as Stephen Strange can pull through an interdimensional portal.
This won’t be a regular tussling and it’s clear Marvel Studios is hyping No Way Home as the film that might end Spider-Man (but probably won’t, despite what Tom Holland’s current contract may tell you). Several key Spider-Man characters and preexisting Marvel heroes are speculated to make their debut in the Marvel Cinematic Universe in No Way Home, with a number supposedly staying for good.
From Spidey’s massive filmography alone — The Amazing Spider-Man’s Andrew Garfield and Emma Stone, the Raimi movies’ Tobey Maguire and Kirsten Dunst, and their franchises’ big bads, Lizard/Curt Connors (Rhys Ifans), Rhino/Aleksei Sytsevich (Paul Giamatti), and Sandman/Flint Marko (Thomas Haden Church). And from the MCU’s own roster, Daredevil/Matt Murdock (Charlie Cox), and maybe even Kingpin/Wilson Fisk (Vincent D’Onofrio) if Feige so desired. Fisk is another frequent Spider-Man enemy; D’Onofrio isn’t supposed to cameo, but at this point, anything could happen.
Spider-Man: No Way Home is fully confirmed to star Tom Holland, Zendaya, J. B. Smoove, Jacob Batalon, Marisa Tomei, Jamie Foxx, Benedict Cumberbatch, and Alfred Molina. It comes out on December 17 after the release of Venom: Let There Be Carnage on September 24.