Amazing Spider-Man 2 is still almost half a year away, but Sony has managed the weird accomplishment of creating hype for everything that comes after the sequel, while not necessarily blowing fans’ collective socks off with the initial Amazing Spider-Man 2 trailers.
Now that we know that Venom and The Sinister Six supervillain team will be the features of their own respective films (and maybe involved with one another’s franchises), ASM2‘s offer of a villain trifecta – black Electro, a mech-suit rhino and a David Bowie-style Goblin – looks rather mundane. However, actor Chris Cooper – who stars in the sequel as the new Norman Osborn – wants to remind us all that the happenings of the future Spidey films will also include a part for him to play.
Earlier this year Cooper made the cryptic statement that Amazing Spider-Man 2 is but an introduction to Norman Osborn; now, he’s following that statement up with some additional hints, telling Moviefone:
Um, well, when you see [laughs], when you see “Spider-Man 2,” you’ll realize this is the introduction to Norman Osborn, and apparently it’s going to lead to other things down the road…All I can is this is a very strange introduction for Norman Osborn. I just can’t reveal why it’s that way, but this is not the beginning of Norman. It is the introduction, but it’s not the beginning, and I think that’s as far as I can go… I’m under the impression that this is going to carry on.
When pressed for information about possible green screen work, Cooper added that while he hasn’t done much (just Peter Berg’s The Kingdom), it could indeed be in the cards for Amazing Spider-Man 3.
We’ve been all over the mysteries of Amazing Spider-Man movie universe since the beginning, and one of the central mysteries we seized upon was actor Dane DeHaan’s casting as Harry Osborn. DeHaan is a rising star, and it stood to reason that Sony was grooming him for something major – maybe even to headline the longtime-coming Venom movie.
If that were the case, DeHaan would be Venom, leaving Cooper’s Norman Osborn to once again take up the mantle of the Green Goblin. Such a storyline wouldn’t be outside the range of continuity, either: In the Ultimate Spider-Man cartoon series, Venom is created by Doctor Octopus working for Oscorp, and the symbiote is based on Peter Parker’s genetic material. The suit takes hold of Harry Osborn, who uses it to aid his father, the Green Goblin, to battle Spider-Man. Spidey eventually cures Harry and defeats Norman.
I’ve always been dead-set on the fact that this cartoon version of the story could heavily influence the film series, since it has all the relevant themes of father and son legacy, and the tragic friendships that define Peter Parker. It also incorporates the gene-research angle that drives this rebooted Spider-Man mythos, and make significant use of Harry in a way fans haven’t seen yet (key words). There was just one hiccup: rumors kept pointing to DeHaan playing the Green Goblin.
The same teaser images that suggested the Venom-Harry connection also teased Harry’s presumed transformation into the Goblin. Actress Felicity Jones – one of several major actors in the film whose role is still unknown – dropped the ball this summer, revealing that she is playing “The Goblin’s girlfriend” in ASM2, almost directly pointing to DeHaan with her reference. Finally, recent official promotional materials – like posters or trailers – have pretty much confirmed the theory, with scenes of DeHaan in Goblin armor riding a glider and seemingly standing within a transformation chamber:
…But hold on, there’s more!
There’s been so much shown from Amazing Spider-Man 2 already that we can’t help but wonder if we’re all being led down a merry path of misdirection.
The teaser photo with the gun and transformation chamber certainly hinted that Harry could’ve pulled the trigger on old Norman (who is seen bed-ridden and dying in the trailer), leaving the son to inherit the father’s kingdom (and mad curse). However, Cooper’s words about the future for Norman in the next installment certainly contradict any theory that Norman Osborn dies in Amazing Spider-Man 2, leaving us right back where we started: confusion about what DeHaan’s arc will be in the series, with potential for him to still step into the Venom role.
We could very well be getting reveals of the Harry Goblin now, because it’s not the major direction the character will go in. What we’ve already seen is a little too close for comfort to James Franco’s Goblin from Spider-Man 3; the “Bowie Goblin” could easily be a “starter Goblin” that Spider-Man defeats, leading Norman to become the full-fledged gene-spliced monster from the Ultimate Spider-Man continuity, while Harry finds another avenue of power in the Venom symbiote – as teased in that image director Marc Webb posted on DeHaan’s twitter page, depicting a unquestionable Venom easter egg from the comics.
A story thread with a Harry Osborn Venom would make the drama much more involved (the Peter / Harry / Norman triangle is some of the richest Spider-Man lore); although it would lead to two HUGE complaints:
- Those who feel that Venom can ONLY be sleazy reporter Eddie Brock will be outraged – even though Harry-Venom was a move Marvel itself has already made.
- Those who feel that DeHaan is not physically built enough to play Venom will be peeved – even though the actor is a good body match for the slim Andrew Garfield (and a great acting match).
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At this point nothing is at all certain (as this franchise is proving everyday), so all of this (or none of it) could indeed be in the cards. Our editor Rob Keyes has maintained that the future installments will see the introduction of Venom (whomever plays him), and then Spidey and Venom teaming up to fight together in that Sinister Six movie, before Venom swings off into his own franchise (listen to our discussion on all that and more, HERE). If that’s going to be the case, then there is perhaps even more motivation for the filmmakers to keep the major roles contained within the casting circle they’ve already built, since trying to introduce, say, Eddie Brock, his Venom origin, and get him into a solo film all within a few installments would be MUCH trickier than simply developing DeHaan’s character over the course of a couple films.
There was no answer to be found by talking to DeHann himself; I did so at Comic-Con 2013, and asked him point blank about The Goblin AND Venom. You can check out his coy responses for yourself:
All we know for sure, right now, is that Spider-Man movie universe is getting more crowded by the day. With three villains in this next film, teases of Doc Ock and Vulture – and many other characters – already leaking out, and Venom and potential second Goblin to come as well, Spidey will definitely have his hands full, one way or another.
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 will be in theaters on May 2, 2014.