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Spider-Man: No Way Home: Willem Dafoe explains how past 'criticism' of Green Goblin outfit led to changes in latest film

Willem Dafoe revealed that he is aware that the initial mask received some criticism.

  • Aishwarya Vasudevan

  • OTTplay

Last Updated: 03.23 AM, Jan 09, 2022

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Willem Dafoe, who plays the Green Goblin in Spider-Man: No Way Home, has said that previous criticism of his costume drove him to get a makeover for his comeback in the 2021 film. In Sam Raimi's 2002 Spider-Man, the 66-year-old actor played Norman Osborn, nicknamed the villain Green Goblin, alongside Tobey Maguire as the superhero. After Tom Holland's Peter Parker builds a gateway to other realms, bringing villains and heroes from prior Spider-Man films into his own, Dafoe reprised the role in No Way Home.

According to People magazine, Dafoe, along with Alfred Molina (Otto Octavius/Doctor Octopus) from Spider-Man 2 and Jamie Foxx (Max Dillon/Electro) from The Amazing Spider-Man 2, spoke to a news site about reuniting for the 20-year-in-the-making crossover event. As per Dafoe, his character's appearance was reinvented because fans complained that his Goblin mask didn't move and was unduly cartoonish in his original performance.

*SPOILER ALERT* At first, Dafoe first appears in the film with an outfit that is similar to the original, but the mask is crushed and destroyed early on. He then emerges from under a hood, his face visible. The veteran actor stated that he is aware that the initial mask received some criticism. He heard it enough that changing it up a little bit was undoubtedly a consideration.

Dafoe went on to say that he doesn't think about it because he didn't think about using his face to express himself. He revealed that his face moves in lockstep with his heart and that it's just a way of expressing how one feels.

Sanja Milkovic Hays, the costume designer for No Way Home, told Variety last month that she was revising some of the characters' clothes for this film. She added that the originals had to be respected, but they also had to be brought up to the aesthetics of what the modern generation wants from them. Thus, everything has been improved, and the technology used to create it has changed dramatically.

When it comes to developing the multiple costumes for the film, Hays noted that Marvel's visual department is extensively involved with the details, so all design work is done in collaboration with them. Then she has to bring it to life, which is a massive undertaking because these are anything but easy.

Dafoe also claimed that he decided to return to No Way Home on the condition that the character meets a set of prerequisites. He thought to himself, "This is insane, but let's see what they have to say," when producer Amy Pascal and director Jon Watts called him and said they'd like to present this idea to him. He was adamant about not doing a cameo and wanted to make sure there was something worthwhile to do that wasn't just a token gesture. 

The actor continued by saying, because it's a lot of pleasure for him, it was the only way to give the character a sense of belonging; otherwise, his character could have devolved into a slew of memes.

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