Thanks to Spider-Man: No Way Home, there’s a perfect way for an MCU version of the Green Goblin to connect to Willem Dafoe’s. A critical moment for Norman Osborn’s character in No Way Home was when Norman shattered his Green Goblin mask and ran away from the remains. Not only did it provide an opportunity for the MCU to eschew his original goofy costume for a more serious look, but it served as a symbolic representation of Norman wanting to make a genuine effort to break free from the Goblin persona and be a good person again.
Willem Dafoe’s Norman Osborn breaking his mask was a great scene, and what makes it even better is how it can connect to an MCU version of the Green Goblin. The pieces of Norman’s mask should still be somewhere in the MCU, so the MCU version of Norman Osborn could find them and use them as a base for his own Green Goblin mask. Doing something like that would be an excellent way of linking Willem Dafoe’s Norman to a new version of the character, and it could even help Peter put to bed any lingering drama he has from dealing with the Green Goblin in Spider-Man: No Way Home.
There’s no way of knowing when the MCU will introduce its own version of Norman Osborn, but what is known is that he would be very different from Willem Dafoe’s. Spider-Man: No Way Home confirmed that Oscorp doesn’t exist in the MCU, so even if there is a Norman Osborn in the MCU, he likely won’t be the highly-successful businessman that Norman was in the Sam Raimi Spider-Man trilogy or most other depictions of the character in and out of the comics. The pressure Norman put himself under to run Oscorp is often a big part of what led to his becoming the Green Goblin, so if that isn’t a factor in the MCU, then the MCU’s version is bound to be very different from both the comics and the Sam Raimi trilogy.
Regarding Norman Osborn’s Green Goblin mask, an important thing that needs to be discussed is why he wasn’t wearing it in Spider-Man: No Way Home, to begin with. As mentioned before, Norman getting rid of the mask not only serves as a symbol of him trying to separate himself from the Goblin persona, but also works as a means of separating Willem Dafoe’s Norman Osborn from his original Green Goblin costume that had been derided as overly ridiculous for years. Not only that, but by not wearing the mask, Dafoe was able to show off more of his facial expressions as the Green Goblin than he could in the original Spider-Man, and that allowed for both the characters and the audience to get a better idea of how twisted a villain his Green Goblin is supposed to be.
In conclusion, Willem Dafoe’s Norman Osborn abandoning his mask serves as a perfect way to connect him to an MCU version of the character. An MCU version could kickstart his time as the Green Goblin by finding the mask of Dafoe’s Norman, and not only could that allow for Tom Holland’s Spider-Man to get over any lingering drama he has with the Green Goblin, but it could work to highlight how different the MCU version is for not having the means to build his own devices. There’s no way of knowing when an MCU version of the Green Goblin will appear, but regardless, it would be a simple move for him to connect to the original.
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