There’s no denying that Tom Holland’s portrayal of Peter Parker has been a highlight of the MCU’s Phase Three. He’s young, he’s funny, and his street-level stakes are a breath of fresh air in a franchise loaded with aliens armies and reality-warping MacGuffins. He’s practically his comic book character brought to life, so it’s a shame that so much of Spider-Man’s fifty-year history has been adapted to death before it could ever be introduced into the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Arguably the biggest travesty: iconic players like J. Jonah Jameson, Gwen Stacy and Norman Osborn have been brought to the screen before by actors with such gravitas that it’s almost impossible to reboot them. But if new rumors are to be believed, we may see one of these characters sooner than we thought, and he’ll be bringing a lot of story significance with him.
According to industry insider Daniel Richtman, Marvel Studios has “big plans” for Spider-Man’s arch-nemesis, the Green Goblin. Here’s what the always reliable tipster had to say:
“Norman Osborn is gonna be the Lex Luthor/Joker (when in Green Goblin mode) of the MCU. They have big plans for him. He’ll be more important to the universe than Spidey. IF Sony will renew their contract with Marvel that is. And I’m pretty sure they will.”
The Green Goblin first appeared on the big screen nearly two decades ago as the central villain of Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man. Played with sinister delight by Willem Dafoe, the Goblin had a such a lingering effect that they brought him back from the grave for a few key scenes in the film’s two sequels. The villain sat out 2012’s The Amazing Spider-Man reboot but returned in its 2014 sequel, played by Chris Cooper in a very short scene in which the character was almost immediately killed off. Rumors swirled that Cooper’s version of Osborn would appear later on in the series, but Sony ended the franchise before that plan could ever come to fruition.
It’s interesting to think of how a major scientific industrialist could play a role in a post-Tony Stark world, though. From the latest Spider-Man: Far From Home trailer, we know the world’s looking for a “new” Iron Man, and someone like Osborn could easily attempt to slide into that role (if Mysterio doesn’t beat him to it).
Richtman is careful to note though that the Goblin’s introduction hinges on Sony renewing their contract with Marvel. Considering Spider-Man’s prominence in the last two Avengers film however (both in the top-five highest grossing movies of all time), continuing to share the character’s rights would be a no-brainer.
Peter Parker of the MCU has already faced off with so many of his comic book villains, from the Tinkerer to the Vulture to two different Shockers, and many others are expected to debut in this summer’s Spider-Man: Far From Home. Could it plant the seeds for Osborn’s arrival, though? We’ll find out when the film hits theaters on July 2nd.