Here’s Why Green Goblin Was Redesigned in ‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’


‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’ was one of the most hyped-up films in recent years. Countless rumors, leaks, and theories were popping up everywhere online, and when both Andrew Garfield and Tobey Maguire showed up, fans were left in awe. Alongside the original webheads, a few of their original villains also appeared. Willem Dafoe made his return as Green Goblin and absolutely stole the show.  When he showed up, he had a different yet familiar design. He got rid of the helmet and had a tattered purple hoodie that went over his suit and paid homage to the original design from the comics. Even though these were small changes, there was still a significant reason for doing so. So, why was Green Goblin redesigned for ‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’?

The main reason Green Goblin was redesigned was simply due to the backlash of the original design. When he first appeared in ‘Spider-Man’ over 20 years ago, the suit received some criticism from fans and critics alike, described by Roger Ebert as “a high-tech action figure with a mouth that didn’t move’. As fantastic as his performance was, the suit looked a bit like a power ranger costume with a goblin head.

Now that we have briefly discussed why the Green Goblin suit was re-designed let’s analyze it in more detail. If you’re interested in more, stay with us and keep reading!

What was the original design for the Green Goblin?

In ‘Spider-Man’ before they used the design they went with, they were originally going to use a much more comic-accurate look. The concept mask much more resembled the Green Goblin’s mask from the original comics and cartoons, equipped with a purple hood and animatronic facial features that could show expressions. They never went forward with this look because they felt it would have scared children too much and would have been too much for a PG-13 rating.  

Another concept they had was an armored version of the Green Goblin. This was a concept that combined both the classic 1960s comic book design with a modern armored look. While this design also looks much better than the original design, it’s unclear why they went with the final suit.

What was wrong with the original design?

While Spider-Man’s first theatrical costume was perfectly recreated from the comics, the Green Goblin’s design left a lot to be desired. Children at the time may have thought it looked creepy and intimidating; however,  anyone over the age of 12 thought it was silly and like a green power ranger. The body suit was just a plain armored green jumpsuit that didn’t have much style or substance. The helmet looked even sillier, with Dafoe’s mouth being easily visible. While his eyes were also visible, it actually worked in the actor’s favor, with you being able to see a lot of his expressions which added to the craziness. 


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What were the changes made in ‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’?

Early on in ‘Spider-Man: No Way Home,’ we see Norman Osborne having trouble keeping the goblin at bay, and he then destroys the original mask. After the big fight with Peter in the condo, Osborne’s clothes get tattered, and underneath is the original suit. The purple hoodie over the bodysuit made it resemble the comic-accurate suit more with the purple hood. His not having the original mask added so much more to his performance and look. We got to see Dafoe’s expressions which were so much creepier than the original mask and allowed him to go all out with his performance. 

One thing the film also did well was having Osborne’s street clothes be the same color palette as the goblin costume. With the green coat and purple hoodie underneath, it was a great way to show that even though he had the goblin at bay, he was always going to reappear at some point. 

So what happened with the costume?

As said before, they changed the suit due to backlash from fans and critics. Willem Dafoe also came out and said the original reaction could have been the reason by telling the New York Times, ‘We heard it enough that it was probably a consideration.’ Although we see the original suit very early in the film, it is quickly discarded, with Peter Parker even poking fun at it by calling him a ‘green elf.’ 

Another reason would be that Dafoe was adamant about doing his stunts. While filming ‘Spider-Man,’ his vision was obscured, so having his face on the show would have made it much easier for him to see when performing and also meant he could add so much more emotion to the fight scenes.  As goofy and silly as the original suit looked, at least it was better than the Goblin design in ‘The Amazing Spider-Man 2’.

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