Green Goblin actor, Willem Dafoe, who played the classic villain in 2002’s Spider-Man and last year’s Spider-Man: No Way Home, has shared his thoughts on the original design for the Goblin’s costume.
Spider-Man faced an almighty challenge. At a time when superhero blockbusters were not the cinematic cornerstone they are today, Sam Raimi’s comic book adaptation was faced with the task of successfully bringing one of the world’s most iconic superheroes to life on the big screen for the very first time. While X-Men had enjoyed some success two years prior, that film had opted for a darker tone and replaced its source material’s garishly colorful costumes with black leather jumpsuits and similarly muted tones for its villains. That approach wasn’t going to work for a character like Spider-Man.
While Sam Raimi was able to stay faithful to Spider-Man’s comic-book look without much trouble, the Green Goblin posed a greater challenge. The character’s original costume included a long purple hat and shorts, plus a mask that moved and emoted as if it were his real face. While the look that the production team eventually settled upon for Willem Dafoe’s Goblin proved divisive, there was a logic to having the character develop an armored suit for himself. Early test footage, however, reveals a more comic-accurate Goblin mask, made of a flesh-like material with animatronic facial features.
In a recent interview with Variety, Willem Dafoe spoke about his feelings on the original Goblin mask and the decision to go with a different look. He revealed he was less than convinced by the test footage he saw of the first mask, saying:
“The challenge was always to not make the Goblin ridiculous, make him a little scary. And I think, because technology was involved, they went with a very angular, very modern kind of look, more like an armor. Some of the early tests I saw, the Goblin looked more like a Halloween mask, this kind of puke green with bug eyes. It was kind of silly looking.”
While the mask that was used has its detractors – especially when it was concealing the performance of Willem Dafoe, something Spider-Man: No Way Home was quick to avoid doing – it certainly made more sense than having the Goblin create a latex mask that somehow adhered perfectly to his facial movements.
Willem Dafoe can be seen reprising the role of the Green Goblin in Spider-Man: No Way Home. Here is the official synopsis:
For the first time in the cinematic history of Spider-Man, our friendly neighborhood hero’s identity is revealed, bringing his Super Hero responsibilities into conflict with his normal life and putting those he cares about most at risk. When he enlists Doctor Strange’s help to restore his secret, the spell tears a hole in their world, releasing the most powerful villains who’ve ever fought a Spider-Man in any universe. Now, Peter will have to overcome his greatest challenge yet, which will not only forever alter his own future but the future of the Multiverse.
Directed by Jon Watts from a script written by Chris McKenna and Erik Sommers, No Way Home stars Tom Holland, Zendaya, Benedict Cumberbatch, Jacob Batalon, Jon Favreau, Jamie Foxx, Willem Dafoe, Alfred Molina, Benedict Wong, Tony Revolori, Marisa Tomei, Andrew Garfield, and Tobey Maguire.
Spider-Man: No Way Home is now available on Digital HD, and will be available to own on 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray, Blu-ray and DVD on April 12. Be sure to continue following us for all the latest news in the franchise, as well as Andrew Garfield’s potential future as the character, and be sure to subscribe to our YouTube channel for more content!