After months of anticipation and speculation, Spiderman: No Way Home dropped a teaser and there’s a lot to unpack from the short clip. However, the two takeaways from the video were the returns of Alfred Molina’s Dr. Otto Octavius and William Dafoe’s Green Goblin. Now, fans of the original Sam Raimi Spiderman know that both villains died in their respective movies. Getting revenge against Spiderman for the murder of his father was pretty much the main reasoning behind Harry Osborn’s existence in the following Spiderman movies.
Both villains are iconic characters in the Spiderman universe. Green Goblin originally made his comic debut in The Amazing Spiderman issue #14 in 1964. Dr. Otto Octavius actually made his first appearance a year earlier in The Amazing Spiderman issue #3 and was a focal point as a member of the Sinister Six, which had a variation of six villains including Mister Negative, Electro (who is also reported to be in the upcoming Spiderman film), Vulture, Rhino, Scorpion, and Kraven The Hunter; Dr. Ock was originally the leader of most of these incarnations.
Back in 2016, a Sinister Six movie was reportedly in the works with the studio executives actually hiring Drew Goddard (The Cabin in the Woods and Bad Times At The El Royale) to write and direct the film following The Amazing Spiderman 2. However, the sequel was panned by most critics and despite making a solid return at the box office, Sony decided that it was best to scrap plans for Sinister Six, and The Amazing Spiderman 3 and 4. With the reincarnation of Dr. Ock and the return of Electro, does this mean that Sony is planning another attempt at a Sinister Six movie? At the moment, there’s nothing confirmed for such a movie; however, there has to be a reason that the studio brought back Green Goblin and Dr. Ock from the dead.
Yes, William Dafoe and Alfred Molina’s version of the popular Marvel villains are highly praised (though a good majority agree that the Goblin costume needs some fine-tuning) thus this can easily be a one-off business decision. But Kevin Feige is also attached to the project as the producer, thus the longtime Marvel producer is known for his long-term strategy for his universe of superhero films. Basically, Feige is a smart guy who doesn’t do things just for the money. The Tom Holland Spiderman films have done particularly well, with Homecoming doing $880.2 million worldwide. Far From Home did even better, amassing a huge total of $1.132 billion worldwide. The Tom Holland films aren’t struggling at the box office thus this doesn’t feel like a panic move to sell out more tickets.
Reportedly, Andrew Garfield and Tobey McGuire will make their respective returns in the upcoming Spiderman film, thus the issue with continuity of the Sam Raimi universe. Should the film ignore the deaths of Green Goblin and Dr. Otto Octavius? Considering the fact that the original actors made a return to their roles then that’s going to be very hard to forget. In all honesty, it would be wise if the film did address why William Dafoe’s Green Goblin and Alfred Molina’s Dr. Ock are still alive. Luckily, this is a superhero film, so the studio can concoct a story that Harry Osborn Jr. (or some other genius) made some type of serum that brought back both villains. There doesn’t need to be a prolonged flashback detailing the events leading up to their revival, just a sound explanation for why these two are alive and well.
Had the studio opted to get brand new actors for the role then there wouldn’t have been any need to address the deaths of these two characters because the interpretation of Green Goblin and Doc Ock would’ve been new. However, it’s clear that Marvel is going for nostalgia to lure back fans of the original Spiderman films. Will the Spiderman universe be ruined if the upcoming films simply ignore the deaths of Green Goblin and Dr. Ock? No, but there’s no doubt that the entire Spiderman universe will be muddled because of the inclusion of the original villains.
While James Gunn’s The Suicide Squad wasn’t a full-on reboot due to the returns of Margot Robbie’s Harley Quinn, Viola Davis’s Amanda Waller, Jai Courtney’s Boomerang, and Joel Kinnaman’s Rick Flag, it didn’t muddle the Suicide Squad universe because none of those characters died in David Ayer’s version. We’ll just have to wait and see what happens in the upcoming Spiderman film; however, there’s no doubt over the excitement for Spiderman: No Way Home.