By the time Amazing Spider-Man 2 arrives, it could bring with it some of the worst kept secrets of any upcoming superhero movie. Even before the sequel was announced, there was speculation that director Marc Webb could be steering the franchise toward a showdown between Spider-Man and the super-villain team, The Sinister Six - and that's been unofficially confirmed several times over.
A recent banner spotted overseas showed some of the first official images of Jamie Foxx's Electro (the supposed central villain of the film) and Paul Giamatti's Rhino (in mechanical form) taking on Spider-Man (Andrew Garfield) with the help of a third villain... one riding a familiar-looking glider device.
Speculation has raged ever since that the third figure in the banner is the new version of The Green Goblin - but whether that Goblin would be Harry Osborn (Dane DeHaan) or his father Norman Osborn (Chris Cooper) was a matter of mystery.
...But maybe not so mysterious anymore:
CLICK FOR FULL-SIZED VERSION
[Update: High-Res Banner Released]
The design of the character (whomever is playing him) would seem to fall in-between the super-serum humanoid form of the classic Green Goblin, the gene-spliced monstrosity of the Ultimate Spider-Man continuity - and of course, James Franco in Spider-Man 3.
Oddly enough, the face on that Goblin figure looks most like franchise star Andrew Garfield; but taking that out of consideration, the smart money says that the figure is indeed Dane DeHaan's Harry Osborn. While there's been back-and-forth rumoring that DeHaan's Harry Osborn could be the new Goblin or a new version of Venom (being groomed for a possible spinoff), the scales got tipped to the Goblin side when ASM2 actress Felicity Jones let slip that her mysterious character (possibly Black Cat?) would be playing "The Goblin's girlfriend" in the movie. Even though she didn't specify, it was a pretty sure bet that she was referring to Harry Osborn (Norman would just be creepy, really).
Screen Rant sat down with DeHaan multiple times over the last few months, and we took the opportunity to touch on the Goblin rumors. Here's what he said:
He's doing stunt work in the film - so Harry WILL see some kind of action:
Dane DeHaan: Yeah, it was a really exciting challenge of a part and it wasn’t only a mental challenge, it was a physical challenge as well. I underwent a really big training regime, the days were long and that kind of thing. I don’t want to get into too much detail because I think there’s a lot in the movie that’s going to be really exciting for people to not know going into it.
When I asked him directly about Jones's "Goblin's girlfriend" mention, DeHaan tried to play coy, but the evidence was still there:
Dane DeHaan: Well Harry is a big womanizer you know so anybody that thinks they’re Harry’s love interest is wrong if she said that! [Laughs]... The Goblin’s girlfriend? That’s gross if she’s dating a Goblin, that’s disgusting. Not to judge… [Smiles]
To complete this picture, we've had viral teases from director Marc Webb himself; one image depicted a locker that (in comic lore) contains a powerful (Goblin-related?) formula; the other image depicted a 'gene chamber' and the ominous tease of a gun and Harry-sized tee-shirt on the floor. Taken altogether, both images seem to suggest a scenario where someone (Harry) follows up a major breakdown or violent act (killing his father?) by taking some kind of serum and hitting the gene chamber... to become the Green Goblin.
As I said: unless there is some kind of additional twist, or the banner image is somehow misleading, this Harry/Goblin business is likely going to end up being one of the worst-kept secrets of the ASM2 production. Moreover, that banner is going to spark all kinds of Spider-Man 3 fears.
That final installment of Sam Raimi's trilogy suffered from an overcrowding of villains - Goblin, Venom and Sandman. Unless screenwriters Alex Kurtzman, Roberto Orci and and Jeff Pinkner have this thing tightly streamlined (and there's evidence that Norman Osborn's gene experimentation could do just that) then that "Spider-Man 3 itis" could be a real threat.
Does that Goblin figure look like Harry Osborn to you? Could it be Chris Cooper in the Goblin suit? Are there too many villains in this film - or is this just warm-up to a Sinister Six showdown?
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 will be in theaters on May 2, 2014.