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Do We Really Need To See Norman Osborn in Amazing Spider-Man 2?

The news that the sequel to this year’s The Amazing Spider-Man has found its Harry Osborn is another sign that we’re going to see the Green Goblin in the rebooted movie continuity before too long. Are the movies selling the Spider-Man mythos by returning to the same bad guys?

While it’s, at best, naive to have thought that we weren’t headed towards Norman Osborn at some point in Marc Webb’s new Spider-Man movie continuity – Curt Connors was, after all, working for Oscorp, whose owner was dying and seeking a miracle cure for whatever his condition is; I believe that’s called foreshadowing these days – there’s nonetheless something underwhelming about the idea that Webb’s series is building up to the appearance of a character whose story is already so well-known to the mass audience. Haven’t we been through this before? Couldn’t we do something else, instead?

It’s not as if Spider-Man doesn’t have a ridiculously large rogues gallery to choose from, with only a handful of villains having already been used by the movies; why not use Kraven the Hunter, or the Vulture, or even the Kingpin, now that Marvel has all of the Daredevil rights back from Fox? (Presuming, of course, that Marvel would be willing to surrender the rights to Sony…) Why haven’t we seen a Mysterio appearance by now, or the Chameleon? Hell, I’d even be happy with a Mister Negative appearance, if it meant that we could stay away from bad guys that have already been seen – and definitively dealt with – before showing up in the movies.

Of course, there’s the possibility/probability that Webb et al would treat Norman Osborn in the same way that they treated the Spider-Man origin story – which is to say, giving us both what we expect and some things we didn’t (For example: Yes, spider bite, Uncle Ben dies, etc., but also the “What was Richard Parker up to?” subplot, and the entire Lizard backstory and confrontation). There are already rumors that Webb and partners are planning to go for the one/two punch of ASM‘s #121/122 storyline (No spoilers unless you click through), which would give Osborn and Spider-Man’s conflict a more personal dynamic that in the Raimi continuity, and we also have the whole “he’s apparently dying” thing to mix things up, but still…

Personally, I’m holding out for a complete swerve; what if Harry Osborn is the only Osborn that we’ll ever meet, and Norman is as dead as Peter’s parents? Just because we were told that the owner of Oscorp was sick doesn’t mean that it’s definitively Norman Osborn, after all… What if Webb plans to skip a generation altogether and give us a Harry that’s a flip side of Peter Parker in almost every way? Why, he could even become a Hobgoblin, instead of just another Green Goblin…


  • Sean

    “Just because we were told that the owner of Ocorp was sick doesn’t mean that it’s definitively Norman Osborn, after all…”
    Did you even see the movie? Norman was mentioned by name several times…

    Is it just me or do Graeme’s articles (Particularly the Fringe ones) always seem to be written without much though about the actual material?

  • Lyle

    I can’t help feeling that you are second guessing the writers and director, without ever having an inkling what the future scripts to this will be. For example, we know for a fact that Electro will be the bad guy in this next movie. Who is to say that Mysterio, for example, won’t be the bad guy in the third film, with Norman Osborn continuing to be a shadowy presence? Heck, how movies go, we may never actually see Norman Osborn before this franchise ends and is rebooted as well. All I’m saying is that we fans keep getting so hyper about stuff that hasn’t even happened yet, maybe we should just chill out. I liked Webb’s first Spider-Man movie, so I am willing to give him the benefit of the doubt, until I hear something more concrete than they picked an actor to play Harry Osborn.

  • Devilzadvokit666

    Don’t know if I could live with myself if I was constantly this annoyed and always bitching about such trivial things like a film.

  • Richard Casey

    IF there is a return of Green Goblin, it’ll be in the third flick. Would this be a bad thing? No. Why? Because the last version of GG wasn’t that great, and as Norman is sick, combined with the mutation stuff in Amazing, it lends credence to the idea that there’ll be a more Ultimate version of the Goblin, which would then tie in to a Sinister Six. 

    This article seems kind of ill thought out. Just because Norman has been mentioned, it doesn’t necessarily mean we’ll see him in a second or even third movie. He could just be the shadowy, manipulative presence that’s responsible for the stuff that happens. Hell, it could even climax in a moment where Spidey finally confronts Norman and it turns out he’s dead, that someone else is using his name to get their own way.

  • Yanks5179

     That was the first thought I had.  Norman WAS mentioned.  Either way, the argument of not bringing him in because we know the story already is kind of rendered moot when we already knew the origin of Spider-Man and got a new one, knew Batman and got a new one, knew who the Joker was and got a new one, etc.

  • Josh Reardon

    The Green Goblin is to Spider-man like Joker is to Batman. He’s one of, if not the most, influential villain on the development of Peter Parker and Spider-man. His relationship with Harry shows us a counterpoint to the relationship between Ben and Peter, in that you don’t have to be father and son to love each other like father and son. Leaving the character of Norman Osborn out of the story, and by extension the Green Goblin, takes away something from the mythos. That’s why there’s a Green Goblin in every incarnation of Spider-man.

  • Tae

    It sounds like you spent days trying to find something to complain about.

  • percane

     or better yet, it is like the superman/lex luthor relationship

  • Juan

    Especially considering that it’s not just Osborn, we already got a new villain in the Lizard and another one in Electro soon. And just cause we get Green Goblin again doesn’t mean we won’t get new villains or that Norman necessarily has to be GG. Hope he is tho…but only if the Gwen story happens.

  • mjb

    another amazingly idiotic article.  Hey- did you also question Heath Ledger playing the Joker after Jack Nicholson in the Tim Burton film.  See how that turned out?

  • Braunrodman

    These movies will stink too much to even talk about. The first movie was like watching someone put together a cardboard box (besides the chemistry btw peter and gwen) it just looks like Sony went through the motions so they could keep their character

  • thesnappysneezer

    Do you even care about having Spider-man movies? Osborne has to be there. They are slowly trickling this out. I would be pissed as hell if someone else owned Oscorp. That would be just plain STUPID. What l kind of idiotic idea and decision would hat be.I want Green Goblin again but I want them to get the costume right. I wan’t Doc Ock again too. Also, when they do Hobgoblin, it better not be an Osborne. 

  • Tae

    I agree with most of what you say, but Harry works as Hobgoblin. 

  • lead sharp


  • numberthirty

     It is odd that Norman got at least a couple of mentions and, the writer knows nothing about it. He’s also been shot known on something Fringe-related(last nights episode).

    You would think you would go back over the details if this just keeps on happening to you.

  • BurningDoom

    Maybe it’s because, oh I don’t know, Green Goblin is Spider-Man archnemesis?

  • Juan

    Or at least pay attention to the comments and try to do better next time…

  • Monkeyhelpertrainer

    Of course we need Norman. Not just because of the planned Gwen Stacy story but also because the extent of his business machinations were largely unexplored in the Raimi films. We could have him “manufacture” supervillains like Electro for Spidey to fight so as to distract him from the dealings of the mafia AKA Norman’s clients. Also, the animosity between Peter and Norman further drives home the Spidey theme of inter-generational mistrust and disparity that you would not get with a Harry Green Goblin.

    And the older Osborn’s dynamics with Harry and Peter are always interesting. We did not see Harry’s drug issues in the last trilogy and how that event drove Norman over the edge, culminating in the 121/122 story arc. Hopefully they include that plotline here. Throw in Mary Jane into the mix as well. The first SM film did touch upon his disapproval of Harry seeing someone like MJ who came from a modest background, but when you consider that the new movies prominently feature Gwen from the get go, just the type of girl Norman would like to see his son settle down with, his need to antagonize and look down upon Mary Jane Watson even out of his costume would be far greater than in the Raimi films as well. Of course, this is Crazy Old Norman we are talking about and he shouldn’t be too attached to Gwen coz one particular watershed story featuring the two characters must happen on screen. And no, I am not talking about “Sins Past”!

  • Alex

    A Spider-Man without an Osborn is like a Batman without a Joker.  He has to come in eventually, though that doesn’t mean things can’t be spiced up with other villains.

  • Alex

     balls, wish i clicked “load more comments” before I made mine.

  • mobes

     I get the impression he’s one the writers that’s scared to go back and look at the comments.

  • mobes

    Ummm… But… Wait…
    Ok…So far for the Spiderman movies we have Lizard and Electro… Neither was in the previous 3 movies (sure Connors was, but we never saw the Lizard). Soooo… Huh? What the hell is he talking about?

    Then there’s the fact that Normon is mentioned more than once, and even has a shadowed cameo in the after credits scene in Connor’s cell. I mean, we don’t see his face, but it’s obviously him.

    Why does this guy still have a job?

  • Demoncat4

    it could be that maybe harry is running oscorp trying to  find a cure for norman and wind up as the green goblin in the film who if they go for the story from asm 121 and 122 does the evil dead and causes the death from those issues instead of norman.

  • numberthirty

     Valid question.

  • sandwich eater

     Wikipedia summaries are also good for refreshing one’s memory.

  • MrFreezeRhino

    Well first off with the movies tied  more closely to Oscorp it makes even more sense for them to include Norman Osborne.  Also, Norman Osborn is the Joker to Peter Parker’s Batman.  The Lex Luthor to his Superman.  The Dr. Doom to his Mr. Fantastic.  Norman Osborn represents corruption and a lack of ethics while Peter Parker represents responsibility and purity.  Spider-Man represents the irrational fear society has towards things it doesn’t understand while Green Goblin represents the dormant “monster” of lying within all of us which we should actually fear. One uses his abilities in a selfless manner while the other for personal gain. I could go on and on with how symbolic their relationship actually is. Of Spider-Man’s Big 3 (GG,Ock, and Venom) he arguably has the greatest potential for reinterpretation along with Spider-Man/Peter Parker. It would be a waste not to show this universe’s version of that relationship.

  • numberthirty

    One more thing that bugs me –

    The writer of the article buys into that Peter’s parents are actually dead.

  • TooSchoolforCool

    Go f*** yourself Graeme.  Are you drunk again? This article is ridiculous.  Do you really want to bash the Gwen Stacy Saga? Do you even read comic books?  F*** you.  Seriously.

  • Ben Harten

    As far as I’ve come to understand the Gwen storyline is happening. Honestly, while the GG saturation in the films was high and I’m inclined to agree that it is kinda boring to deal with him again, the Gwen storyline is second only to uncle Ben in the creation of the spider man we know today. I wouldn’t mind if they had the same scenario happen and have it be a different villain who is responsible for Gwen.

  • Tyson Hinton

    I’m of the small minority who preferred Jack Nicholsons Joker to Heath Ledgers. I’d down for more villains we haven’t seen. I would love to see Kraven or many of the other great spiderman villians.

    One thing to point out is there was a 17 or so year gap between Nicholson and Ledger. DaFoe appeared in 2002 and if another goblin shows up it likely won’t be a major villian until the third film in the new franchise which would likely release in 2018 or 2019. Which would be a similar gap.

    If the characters are done right id be down for some more pumpkin bombs.

  • Adamlinge

    normon osborn was in the first spider man moive he wasent in the amazing spider man oi everybody did you no robin was in the dark knight rises film, how has seen it and how hasent seen the dark knight rises if you have seen itb you dident see batman a lot and how has the game called batman akham city, how likes the knight rises.

  • MegaX50

    Personally, I would like to see Carnage or the Jackal as a villain in one of them, Or the Sin Eater, and use that as a way to introduce Eddy Brock and do Venom in a way that doesn’t suck. Shucking out Norman Osborn again seems a bit tedious for sure, but considering how much of Parker’s life was effected by it, again, and again… and again, It would be nigh impossible to at least avoid any allusions to it.

  • Josh Reardon

     Let’s just all of us, as a consensus on the a worldwide forum, forget about ‘Sins Past’.

  • Blah

    A better question would be, do we really need to see Amazing Spider-Man 2 period?

  • hysanadu

    Do we really need another poorly (or not even at all) researched article by Graeme McMillan?


  • MrMGU

    Why does this guy still have a job?

    Probably because, no matter what your opinion is of HIS opinions, the dude’s posts get a LOT of hits. Positive or negative,  that’s what counts. The guy is posting on two major comics blogs. He’s a professional pot-stirrer.  You want the guy gone? Stop replying to his posts.

    I laugh at all the venom this guy gets. i don’t like most of his opinions either, but I  read almost everyone of them. And so, apparently do all of you guys.

  • Adam Morris

    Osborn is the main antagonist for Spider-Man. Especially since they’ve set it up Ultimate style with Oscorp at the center of the creation of the other villains. We’ll get hint of the GG in the next one; perhaps they’ll bypass Norman as the GG entirely and have Harry take it over directly. I’m also betting on a more Ultimate-style GG.. No glider, flies on his own power, flaming eyes and Hulk-like appearance. But they may be too afraid to do that because of the backlash they’ll get.. And to be honest, I still would like to see the classic goblin. 

  • sj

    Kraven would be awesome

  • Metroid72

    I never really cared about Norman Osborn to begin with, I only liked him as the Goblin, so by all means I wouldn’t mind if he’s truly dead at all. Without the Goblin Formuler coursing through his vains he’s just a boring, overrated Lex Luthor wannabe, Eddie Brock without a symbiote is a better villan then him.