Willem Dafoe Had 1 Requirement for Playing Green Goblin in ‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’ — ‘To Do This Physical Stuff Was Important to Me’

Spider-Man: No Way Home is one of the most-anticipated films of 2021, and its opening weekend box office numbers are highlighting that fact. Part of the film’s appeal is bringing in villains from previous Spider-Man series. And Willem Dafoe’s Green Goblin is receiving plenty of praise following the movie’s release. As it turns out, the actor had one requirement for reprising the role in Spider-Man: No Way Home.

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Willem Dafoe made his debut as the Spider-Man villain Green Goblin in 2002, playing the main villain of Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man. The actor brought a compelling and nuanced portrayal of Norman Osborne to the big screen. He also forced Tobey Maguire’s Peter Parker to make some heart-wrenching decisions.

And after nearly two decades, Dafoe still captures the essence of Norman and his evil counterpart impressively. He brings Tom Holland’s Spidey just as much grief as Tobey’s. And he delivers a nostalgia that has viewers applauding his appearance in Spider-Man: No Way Home.

But how did Marvel Studios convince Dafoe to reprise his Spider-Man role? As it turns out, he did have one request before agreeing. And it’ll make fans respect the actor even more.

Willem Dafoe had 1 requirement for returning as Green Goblin

Green Goblin actor Willem Dafoe at the premiere for 'Spider-Man: No Way Home.' He's wearing a black suit and smiling at something to the side of the camera.
‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’ star Willem Dafoe | Emma McIntyre/Getty Images

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Joining the Marvel Cinematic Universe may seem like a no-brainer for some stars, but Willem Dafoe did have a requirement for reprising his Green Goblin role.

During an interview with Mulderville, the 66-year-old star admitted he wanted to actually be doing something in Spider-Man: No Way Home. Not only did he want Norman’s involvement to go beyond a quick cameo, but he asked to partake in the film’s action sequences:

“To do this physical stuff was important to me. In fact, one of the first things I said to Jon [Watts] and Amy [Pascal], basically, when they pitched it to me — before there was even a script — was, ‘Listen, I don’t want to just pop in there as a cameo or just fill in in close-ups. I want to do the action because that’s fun for me.’ And also, it’s really impossible to add any integrity or any fun to the character if you don’t participate in these things.”

Dafoe’s dedication to the character shines through in the movie, so viewers are lucky he and Marvel made that call. His involvement gave a great sendoff to one of Spider-Man’s most beloved villains. Is there any chance we’ll see him again?

Will we see the Green Goblin again?

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As thrilling as it was to see Willem Dafoe’s Green Goblin back in action, Spider-Man: No Way Home likely marked the actor’s last outing in the role. The film wraps up each of the previous villains’ arcs nicely, and it’s difficult to imagine them finding a reason to return to the MCU’s main universe.

Of course, that doesn’t mean fans won’t see another iteration of the Green Goblin somewhere down the line. The multiverse opens up all kinds of possibilities, allowing Marvel to bring in different versions of the same character. At this point, fans would probably be more interested in the Hobgoblin showing up, though, considering the character has never had a real live-action run.

With more Spider-Man movies reportedly on the way, fans can speculate about which villains will show up to fight Tom Holland’s Peter Parker next. They can also enjoy the many baddies that appear in his latest outing.

Spider-Man: No Way Home is currently playing in theaters.