Matthew McConaughey is no stranger to reinvention (and reboots). After a string of successful performances in the early 2000s, the hunky actor was pigeon-holed as a go-to star for romantic comedies (especially following unsuccessful forays into action-hero territory). Years later, McConaughey has become one of Hollywood's most popular and critically acclaimed performers - with award-winning turns on the big (Dallas Buyers Club) and small (True Detective) screens.
With newfound momentum in Hollywood, the actor became a highly sought-after A-lister and, as a result, it should come as no surprise that both Warner Bros./DC Entertainment and Disney/Marvel Studios have been attempting to coax McConaughey into a comic book adaptation role. Responding to the reports, McConaughey indicated that he was open to joining the Marvel or DC shared movie universe but only if the right role (and script came along). Now, according to a new Spider-Man rumor, we might know which character the actor is leaning toward.
It's worth noting that the following report comes from a relatively unknown source - The Hashtag Show. Nevertheless, THS that has provided accurate (albeit somewhat predictable) info in the past, allegedly via an inside source at Marvel, successfully reporting two Age of Ultron details before the films release (the fate of Quicksilver and the "New" Avengers roster). For that reason, there's reason to mention THS' latest report - though readers should still take the following rumor with a major grain of salt - until an outlet with a bigger resume weighs-in.
Again, while THS has been accurate in the past, this would be their biggest scoop to date. Knowledgable fans could have predicted information in the prior reports without the help of insider sources, and since no else is claiming a McConaughey/Osborn connection yet, this is a wait-and-see - especially since THS only says he's being "eyed" for the part. After all, Marvel and DC could be eyeing the actor for any number of different roles and Marvel is likely eyeing any number of different actors for Norman Osborn.
That all said, even though Norman Osborn has already been at the center of two Spider-Man series in the last decade (thanks to Willem Dafoe and Chris Cooper), the character is extremely important to the source franchise - so it would make sense to include him in the MCU. Additionally, just because Osborn is in the movie (assuming THS is right) does not mean that we'll be getting another Green Goblin - at least not right away.
Furthermore, a role like Norman Osborn (based on the character's importance in the comics) would provide ample room for McConaughey to explore complicated personal drama within the frame of a shared superhero universe. Previously, the actor indicated that, if he were to join the DC or Marvel universe, it'd need to be with a character that he could journey with - and find new ways of exploring over multiple movies:
“It’s very simple for me. I look at the script. Is the opportunity exciting? Is the money that comes with it exciting? Sure. Is it the possibility of going, ‘Hey you can get on a train and it can be a franchise and you could do 3, 4, 5, and have a great time as some kind of superhero or anti-hero.’ But I would also look at something like that and say, ‘Hey, in success that means you are on the train for a while.’ Contractually, you’re going to return to the character over and over. It’s something I asked myself is it something I’d want to return to. Would I be excited to go back and put the shoes on the character again? Going and doing the press tour with that group of people again? I always ask myself those questions again. It starts with the story and character.”
Recent Spider-Man movies have used Osborn as the jumping off point for his son Harry to pick up the Green Goblin mantle - but what if, as in the source material, the next Osborn was more of a Lex Luthor type that actually stuck around for multiple films? A inspiring but malevolent genius working behind the scenes, toying with dangerous technologies and funding villainous rogues, would be an intriguing idea with McConaughey in the role.
No doubt, some fans are still hoping for the actor to portray one of DC or Marvel's heroes but a more influential Norman Osborn, with a bigger part to play, would make sense in the post-Captain America: Civil War MCU - and McConaughey would be a fun addition to the growing cast of Avengers Universe evildoers. After all, McConaughey's recent career revival is owed to balancing charm and defiance in characters that challenge the law for a greater good - wouldn't it be fun to see the actor go the other way? Who wants to see McConaughey play a hero when he might be primed to deliver a version of Norman Osborn that isn't just a mad scientist.
A charismatic billionaire in New York City's public eye would make Osborn's true sociopathic evil genius all the more scary behind the scenes.