Almost every actor you’ve ever seen in any Spider-Man movie is seemingly rumored to be signed on for Spider-Man 3. One actor and character we haven’t seen confirmed for a new Spider-Man movie yet though is Norman Osborn/Green Goblin, as played by Willem Dafoe in Sam Raimi’s trilogy. According to insider Daniel Richtman, Willem Dafoe will be taking up the role of Norman Osborn in future Marvel Cinematic Universe movies.
While we haven’t seen Willem Dafoe play Norman Osborn since Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 3 in 2007, this isn’t exactly a surprise in casting news. Sure, the last time we saw Dafoe’s Green Goblin, it was in his death scene, however, this is the Marvel Cinematic Universe, and lots of characters die and come back. These days, the Marvel Cinematic Universe is doing a lot to play around with the movie universes and pull actors in from other storylines. On top of all that, there have been rumors of Willem Dafoe coming back to play Norman Osborn for years now. A few years ago, it was expected that we’d be seeing Dafoe in Far From Home.
Just a few weeks ago, there were rumors that both Willem Dafoe and Dane DeHaan, who played the Green Goblin in the Andrew Garfield Spider-Man movies, would both be returning for Spider-Man 3. This is still entirely possible and may be the first time we see Willem Dafoe as Norman Osborn again. There have also been rumors that we’ll be seeing Willem Dafoe in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. That rumor also comes from Daniel Richtman.
At this point, it would be strange if Marvel doesn’t bring Willem Dafoe in. Norman Osborn is one of the most iconic villains for Spider-Man, and in Spider-Man 3, we are also supposedly also seeing the return of Vulture. We also know that Jamie Foxx’s Electro is coming back and Alfred Molina is returning as Doc Ock. While clearly the cast list for Spider-Man 3 is overwhelming, it seems strange to get so many villains and skip Green Goblin, of all villains. He’s always been a villain willing to dive into Peter Parker’s personal life. He hits Spider-Man in personal ways that cut the hero deep.
Of course, Spider-Man 3 could be said to have enough characters at this point. To be fair, it’s hard to understand how the writers are planning to fit in all the actors already confirmed. How much screen time could Willem Dafoe actually expect to get in Spider-Man 3, or any of the other actors, for that matter? How do you give adequate screen time to all three Peter Parkers? Will they each get a scene with Kirsten Dunst as Mary Jane? Emma Stone as Gwen Stacy? Who’s going to fight Jamie Foxx’s Electro? How is every villain going to do something neat with just exhausting the audience? If the movie turns out to be ten hours long, few will be surprised.
If the studio has decided that Spider-Man 3 is full, it still makes sense that Willem Dafoe would return to the Marvel Cinematic Universe at some point soon. With the multiverse getting so busy, Norman Osborn could make for all kinds of fun trouble. Still, it’s been a few years of hearing that Willem Dafoe will be returning to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. It’ll be an exciting day when Marvel officially announces the rumor to be true.