Willem Dafoe wanted to
Willem Dafoe wanted to play the Green Goblin in a central role in Spider-Man: No Way Home to avoid being a comical joke. Credits: Marvel Studios

Willem Dafoe wanted to play the Green Goblin in a central role in Spider-Man: No Way Home to avoid being a comical joke in the movie. The actor said that he agreed to reprise his role as the iconic villain on the condition that he played a part of the action sequences in the movie.

Willem Dafoe wanted to be more than just comical jokes

Speaking to The New York Times, Willem Dafoe shared the condition that he had for reprising his role as the Green Goblin in Spider-Man: No Way Home – He wanted the assurance that his role would be more than just a cameo and to be included in the action scenes to avoid becoming a series of memes.

When Amy Pascal [the producer] and Jon Watts [the director] called me and said we would like to introduce you to this idea, I thought, this is crazy.

But let’s see what they have to say. I really didn’t want to do a cameo. I wanted to make sure there was something pretty substantial to do that wasn’t just a tip of the hat.

And the other thing is, I said I really want there to be action – I want to be in action scenes. Because it’s really fun for me.

This is the only way to root the character. Otherwise, it just becomes a series of memes.”

Willem Dafoe

Actor Alfred Molina also spoke about how he was approached for a reprisal of his role as Doc Ock in Spider-Man: No Way Home, saying that he initially thought it was for a completely different project, or maybe to play another villain, or maybe for an interview for a documentary.

When I got asked to come in for a meeting with Amy and Jon, I actually thought it was for a completely different project, maybe to play another villain, or maybe an interview for some retrospective documentary.

As the years had gone by, I thought, they may well bring Doc Ock back.

But I never thought they’d bring him back with me. I was witness to my body changing, things moving.

I walked in completely innocent. Like everyone else, I didn’t know the full extent of where the film was going.

I didn’t get to read a whole script — I just saw the pages pertinent to me.

Spider-Man: No Way Home of course went on to smash all kinds of box office records, becoming the highest-grossing movie of 2021 and the 12th highest of all time.

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