While the newest trailer for Spider-Man: No Way Home might not have featured three Spider-Men as many fans hoped, it did provide us with one unexpected duplicate. It’s stacked with all the villains we expected to see: Doc Ock, Sandman, Electro, Lizard, and the Green Goblin. But as we see the classic Goblin suit and hear Norman Osborn warning Peter, the trailer shows us a different Goblin. Sure, there’s a chance it’s a second suit for Norman, perhaps to get away from the cartoonish aesthetic from the Sony movies? But we think, just like in the Spider-Man comics, it means there might be another Goblin on the horizon.
If that’s the case, then who is it? We’ve got some ideas and we’re going to lay them out right here!
Look, when we think of a new Goblin, our minds immediately go to Norman’s son. Both eras of the Sony movies had a Harry, which fits into No Way Home‘s homage to the past. James Franco played the younger Osborn in the original Sony trilogy. Seeing as we’re getting Norman from that universe in the form of Willem Dafoe, this would be a simple answer. But it seems unlikely due to Franco’s recent legal issues and multiple allegations of abuse.
Next, we’d move to the Andrew Garfield era of Spider-Man. His Harry was played by Dane DeHaan hot off a breakout villain role in Chronicle. In The Amazing Spider-Man 2 Harry had a blood disorder that led him to try to find a cure, instead becoming the monstrous Green Goblin. It was hardly a fan favorite iteration of the character, but he did die at the hands of Spider-Man. We know that’s something key to the villains entering the Multiverse, according to Doctor Strange. Honestly, Marvel knows what fans like, so neither of these are at the top of our list. But seeing as they both took on the role of Green Goblin, they’re worth a mention.
Another Norman Osborn
Though the brief flash we get of the mystery Goblin is quick, our detective work means that we’ve isolated enough from the image to say it could possibly be Willem Dafoe. But if it is, then why is he wearing a new costume? When the trailer introduces Jamie Foxx as Electro, he immediately has a new suit with no nod to his much-maligned previous design.
While we love the original Sony Green Goblin design, it was divisive. So if they were going to give Dafoe a new suit, why not just go straight for it? Why show both the old suit and the new? There seems to be a lot going on in this film, so we doubt there’ll be time to introduce Osborn building a new suit simply for the sake of looking cooler. All of that said, we are in a world where every villain from every universe is headed to the MCU. So why couldn’t there be more than one Dafoe Green Goblin? Perhaps as Spider-Man’s most famed foe, the MCU decided to drop in a little extra Goblin from another universe for some spice? Only Feige knows!
Alt-Universe Ned as the Hobgoblin
Hold up! What are you talking about? We hear you yelling at your screen. Well, this is actually our favorite current theory. Not only would it fit with comics canon, but it would explain why Peter is so heartbroken at the thought of killing these dangerous villains. In the comics, Ned Leeds later becomes the Hobgoblin. We’ve always wondered why Marvel named Peter’s best friend after the famed Spider-Man villain and this might be our answer. While we don’t think the MCU’s Ned is going to do a heel turn, we’re about to see the Multiverse hit NYC. So what if Ned from another universe did become the Hobgoblin? And now Peter has to face him down? The movies do seem to hint at the transformation with Ned following his comic book counterpart’s romantic life with Betty Brant. Could something happen to her that makes Ned turn his back on Peter and MJ?
When we chatted with Jacob Batalon who plays Ned in the lead up to Far From Home, he was ecstatic about the idea of taking on the iconic villain. He said, “To be completely honest, I would love to! I would love to do that. That just sounds like such a fun process as an actor to go through. But at the same time, Ned is just a really sweet guy. I definitely don’t see that in him.”
It’s true our universe Ned is a really sweet dude, but what if in another universe he was betrayed by Peter? Or never knew him? This would add that classic Spider-Man movie dynamic of Peter struggling to battle his best friend. It’s something that the MCU has never done, but perhaps they’re finally going to cross that line with Ned Leeds.