For years, we’ve been hearing that Norman Osborn‘s introduction into the Marvel Cinematic Universe is imminent. The head of Oscorp and most famous Green Goblin might be best known as a Spider-Man villain, but over the decades he’s proven to be a thorn in the side of almost every major Marvel superhero.
There’s been talk that he could even be established as the MCU’s next big bad, and a shady businessman who doubles as a part time costumed glider enthusiast would certainly be a massive difference from intergalactic genocidal maniac Thanos, while his more cerebral and intelligent nature would make him a great fit for an antagonist who prefers to lurk in the shadows pulling the strings rather than getting his hands dirty.
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Because everyone that’s ever played a substantial role in a live-action Spider-Man movie has been rumored for this December’s threequel, Willem Dafoe has been heavily linked with a cameo as Sam Raimi’s Norman Osborn. Of course, he’s not even the only Green Goblin that’s been swirling around the rumor mill, with Dane DeHaan’s Harry from The Amazing Spider-Man 2 also a regular source of speculation, although there seems to be no love for James Franco or Chris Cooper’s members of the family tree.
Insider Daniel Richtman is now claiming, though, that Dafoe will be established as the MCU’s canonical Norman Osborn once he debuts, which raises several issues. The most obvious is that the actor has yet to be confirmed for Spider-Man 3, so there’s every chance he won’t show up in the movie at all, and even if he does, then he’d have to overcome the obstacle of being dead in Raimi’s universe. That being said, we’ve already seen J.K. Simmons bring his Sony character over to the MCU and at this point, we know so little about Spidey’s third outing that nothing can be ruled out yet.