Matthew McConaughey in the MCU? The Iconic Villain Fans Want Him to Play

Fans have fervently wished for John Krasinski and Emily Blunt not just to be husband and wife in real life, but to have them play the ultimate super husband and wife team, Mr. Fantastic and Invisible Woman, whenever the Marvel Cinematic Universe gets around to their version of The Fantastic Four. However, they’re just one of many dream castings fans have in mind.

Matthew McConaughey is known for playing laconic, laid-back characters, particularly with his immortal catchphrase, “all right” in triplicate.

However, Marvel fans have him in mind for a character who is not exactly laid back – Norman Osborne, also known as The Green Goblin.

Who is Norman Osborne?

Matthew McConaughey
Matthew McConaughey | Rick Kern/Getty Images

In the comics, Norman Osborne is an industrialist who becomes the super villain the Green Goblin after he’s exposed to chemicals that enhance his physical abilities but also make him demented. He is widely considered one of Spider-Man’s top villains, not least because his character killed Gwen Stacy, Peter Parker’s girlfriend. Complicating matters is the fact that Norman’s son Harry is Peter’s best friend. 

So iconic is the character that he was chosen as the villain in the first Spider-Man movie with Tobey Maguire. Willem Dafoe memorably took on the role, emphasizing Norman’s fractured personality.

After being killed at the end of that first movie, the Goblin has not been seen on the big screen again, except in the forms adopted by James Franco’s Harry Osborne and Dane DeHaan’s take on the character in The Amazing Spider-Man. 

Although it is not known when or if Norman Osborne would appear alongside Tom Holland in the MCU, there have been signs that the MCU is willing to co-opt characters that appeared in the Sony movies, such as JK Simmons’ reprisal of J. Jonah Jameson in Spider-Man: Far From Home.

If nothing else, he could appear in the Sony Marvel movies that don’t involve the MCU.

Would Matthew McConaughey make a good Green Goblin? 

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Screen Rant‘s roundup of fan castings says of McConaughey, “He’s ruthless and dangerously intelligent, but he’s able to get away with some seriously evil acts right in front of the public eye because he’s so charming and wealthy. Matthew McConaughey could definitely bring out all of those aspects of Stormin’ Norman’s personality.”

While McConaughey no doubt has the skill to play the character, he usually plays protagonists who are at worst, rakish rascals – he’s usually more of a charming rogue akin to Han Solo. Even his amoral stockbroker in Martin Scorsese’s The Wolf of Wall Street has a charm to him.

That’s not to say the actor wouldn’t be up a change of pace, but an out-and-out villain may not play to his strengths. 

One of the few times McConaughey has played a villain or has been in a franchise-type movie was when he played – many have said overplayed – the villain Walter in The Dark Tower, a big screen adaptation of the Stephen King series of books.

That film was generally seen as a misfire, but who’s to say a charming Norman Osborne couldn’t spark a second McConaissance? 

What other castings have fans dreamed up?

Besides McConaughey, and the usual suspects of Krasinski and Blunt, the Screen Rant list has 30 total suggestions, including Scott Eastwood as Wolverine, Emma Stone as Spider-Woman (a project that is reportedly underway, albeit not with Stone) and Joe Manganiello as Kraven the Hunter, widely rumored to be the villain in the third Spider-Man movie with Tom Holland. 

The list does sometimes change up the talked-about fan castings. Anna Kendrick herself has mentioned wanting to be Squirrel Girl, but they suggest Hailee Steinfeld would be a better fit, even though she has been talked up to play Kate Bishop in the Hawkeye series.

For that matter, Screen Rant suggests  Katherine Langford of 13 Reasons Why should be Kate Bishop, while Kendrick could play Rogue.

Although the list is not ranked, the choice it saves for last is Vin Diesel as The Thing. That would be most fun if Diesel could play opposite himself with Groot.