Willem Dafoe explains why he returned for ‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’

willem dafoe spider-man no way home

The multiversal premise of Spider-Man: No Way Home completely and totally hinged on whether or not the various returning faces written into the script would commit to the project, and there would have been a much different outcome had even one of the planned names turned down Marvel Studio’s and Sony’s offer.

Andrew Garfield joked that he was forced to sign on once he discovered Tobey Maguire had committed to suiting up for the first time in almost fifteen years, while Alfred Molina’s honest response when asked what motivated his decision to strap on Otto Octavius’ tentacles again was “money”.

Willem Dafoe’s Green Goblin gets both the highest volume of screentime and the most satisfying arc among No Way Home‘s roster of villains, something that was always pivotal to the actor’s decision to make his grand and scenery-devouring return to the world of superhero cinema, as he revealed to Variety.

“It’s always a little difficult when you die in a movie to come back in any sequels. I thought I was finished. When they initially said, ‘Would you like to reprise this role?’ I thought, ‘Really? How does that happen?’ I was kind of stupid about it. And they walked me through and it sounded kind of cool so I told them what I was interested in. They said what they were interested in. Our ideas pretty much matched up.

Now keep in mind at that stage you don’t necessarily have a script because they’re working on it and they’re also working on the participation on these other characters that they’re bringing back. So it was a real leap of faith but I knew Amy and I liked Jon a lot when I met him and ah…yeah. There was enough attractive things that was interesting. Getting in that suit and the action sequences and…it was a continuation. So it was fun and I’ve very happy that it’s been so successful.”

While Dafoe isn’t above the odd paycheck gig every now and again, the majority of his filmography indicates that story and character always come first, and the veteran star was fully aware his comic book villain was held in the highest esteem by fans, so he was always guaranteed to give his all to No Way Home once he put pen to paper.