Although Blade and X-Men paved the way, it wasn’t until 2002’s Spider-Man that the modern wave of superhero movies really exploded onto the scene, with director Sam Raimi delivering a monster box office hit for Sony, and a comic book movie which really managed to capture the tone of its source material.
During an interview with GQ, actor Willem Dafoe – who delivered a memorable villain turn with his Norman Osborn/Green Goblin – has been reflecting on the movie, as well as praising Raimi for his achievements.
“Sam Raimi did a miracle thing,” said Dafoe, who recently made the leap to the DC universe with his role as Vulko in Aquaman. “He made kind of a personal film out of a fairly big-sized, partly effect movie. It was early in the game of movies made from comic books, that sort of thing, so there was no template”
“I loved in Spider-Man particularly playing the double role,” he continued. “Everybody thinks about the Green Goblin and that was fun, but the more interesting role was probably the father, Norman Osborn. Because you could play these scenes where it would switch from comedy to drama in a line.”
Dafoe went on to elaborate further, discussing the scene where Norman argues with his alter-ego in a mirror: “Sam Raimi gave me Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde to read before I did that. But it was fun, and we basically did it in one take. I think, in the final thing, for whatever reason, they cut it. But we always shot it in one take, and it became a beautiful game, because I had to switch those things, and also for the camera to be in the mirror the correct way, and I had to dance with the camera a lot on that scene.”
Perhaps surprisingly given the number of Spider-Man appearances we’ve had in the years since, Dafoe’s Green Goblin was the last time we saw the classic version of the web-slinger’s arch nemesis, with The Amazing Spider-Man films opting to go in a different direction. However, given Spidey’s role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, not to mention Sony’s new Universe of Marvel Characters, one would have to assume that Norman Osborn will be back on the big screen in some capacity before too long.