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Willem Dafoe Thought Making ‘The Amazing Spider-Man’ Reboot Was Crazy: ‘It’s the Same Story’



Willem Dafoe made his mark on the Spider-Man mythology by portraying one of the hero’s fiercest villains the Green Goblin. But when he saw glimpses of Andrew Garfield’s reboot of the film franchise, he didn’t have a high opinion of it.

Willem Dafoe described the competitive process of getting cast as the Green Goblin

It wasn’t easy for Dafoe to snag the part of Spider-Man’s arch-nemesis in Sam Raimi’s adaptation of Spider-Man. Dafoe was already a seasoned actor at the time with an extensive film resume behind him. But even he had to screen when he was being considered for the Green Goblin. It was a process Dafoe hadn’t experienced in a long time.

“Initially, what attracted me to it was Sam Raimi and just this fairly new idea of making a film out of these comic book characters. There was an audition process — probably the last time that I can remember that I put myself on tape for an audition. It was competitive,” Dafoe told Variety not too long ago.

Even after getting the role, however, there was some discussion on how to portray the character. Dafoe and Raimi had to walk a careful line to make sure the comic book villain presented the right kind of menace.

“The challenge was always to not make the Goblin ridiculous, make him a little scary. And I think, because technology was involved, they went with a very angular, very modern kind of look, more like an armor. Some of the early tests I saw, the Goblin looked more like a Halloween mask, this kind of puke green with bug eyes. It was kind of silly looking,” Dafoe said.

Willem Dafoe thought making ‘The Amazing Spider-Man’ reboot was crazy


Dafoe only played the main villain for the first Spider-Man. But the actor’s presence was felt in the sequels through the narrative and light cameo appearances. In 2012, the Marvel hero went in a new direction with The Amazing Spider-Man. The reboot swapped out director Sam Raimi and his cast in exchange for a brand new cast and crew. With Garfield becoming the new face of Spider-Man, the movies would see him square off against a new batch of villains.

Dafoe saw flashes of this new iteration for Spider-Man. But the actor was less than impressed by what he’d seen, feeling that the story was a bit too familiar.

“I saw a trailer for the first Spider-Man reboot and I thought, ‘This is crazy! It’s not shot for shot, but it’s the same story,’” Dafoe once told Total Film (via MTV News). “I thought, ‘This is sort of a cynical approach to making money!’”

It seems that Dafoe wouldn’t have had a problem with the reboot if they had a story he felt was more creative.

“I mean, they could have strayed a little bit more from the original,” he continued. “It was like, why? Well, I guess they made a lot of money. Congrats. Good for them.”

Willem Dafoe would be willing to reprise his role as the Green Goblin in another Spider-Man movie

Dafoe recently revisited his Green Goblin to battle Tom Holland’s Spider-Man in the Marvel film No Way Home. But it took just a slight bit of convincing for Dafoe to get on board the movie. The actor wasn’t sure how bringing his Green Goblin back would work considering the character’s fate in the 2002 film.


“It’s always a little difficult when you die in a movie to come back in any sequels,” Dafoe told Variety. “I thought I was finished. When they initially said, ‘Would you like to reprise this role?’ I thought, ‘Really? How does that happen?’ I was kind of stupid about it.”

After Dafoe was given the details about his return, he decided to sign up for it. It was a decision the actor didn’t regret.

“I can say, and maybe drank the Kool-Aid, but these are people that really are believing in what they’re doing and giving themselves to it in a very full way,” he continued. “I’m not just talking about really good actors. I’m talking about the effects people, the camera department – they’re all very top level. And then when you have the resources and possibility of making a popular film, that’s all pretty attractive.”

After No Way Home, Dafoe wouldn’t mind sporting the Green Goblin’s gear again if ideal conditions were met.

“If everything was right, sure,” Dafoe said to Inverse. “I mean, that’s a great role. I liked the fact that it’s a double role both times. Twenty years ago, and fairly recently, both times [were] very different experiences, but I had a good time on both.”

Source: Cheat Sheet


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