Willem Dafoe as Norman Osborn

The Green Goblin

Norman Osborn  AKA The Green Goblin is a popular Marvel Comics villain and one of the arch-enemies of Spider-Man. A brilliant scientist and owner of the multi-billion-dollar corporation Oscorp, he turned to a life of terrorism after he injected himself with a performance-enhancing serum which not only enhanced his body but also drove him insane. Over the years, Osborn has hurt Spider-Man on a much deeper emotional level than any of the wall-crawler's other foes. The motivation behind his crimes varies between a desire for power and control to simply acting upon his fascination and ultimate hatred for Spider-Man.

Spider-Man (Sam Raimi)

In the 2002 Spider-Man film directed by Sam Raimi, Norman Osborn is portrayed by Willem Dafoe. He is a shrewd and somewhat cold businessman and chairman of the board of Oscorp Industries. He is concerned for little besides his next military contract and seems to hold little regard for his son Harry. When he first meets Peter Parker, he takes an immediate liking to him, praising him for his intellect and achievements while ignoring the needs of his own son. Norman's company fails to deliver a new military product to the US Defense Department and in order to salvage the deal and save his company, Norman tests a new performance-enhancing compound on himself. At first, the experiment appears to kill him, but a short while later he wakes up stronger and faster than before. However, the compound also damages his psyche and turns him into a murderous psychopath. Norman kills his lab assistant and steals his company's hi-tech glider and flight suit, taking on a new villainous persona known as The Green Goblin.

Following this event, Osborn develops a split personality: one half his normal self, the other the homicidal Goblin, which speaks to Osborn and tells him that it wishes only to give Osborn what he wants. Under the mask of the Goblin, Osborn murders several military contractors who refused to support his performance enhancement project. During a parade, the Goblin disrupts the event and murders the entire Oscorp board of directors who are in attendance. His rampage is halted by Spider-Man, who the Goblin takes a particular interest in and later attempts to persuade the wall-crawler to join forces with him. Spidey refuses, but the vengeful Osborn later discovers his identity: Peter Parker. Following this discovery, the Goblin threatens the lives of those closest to Peter, namely his Aunt May and Mary-Jane Watson. After preventing the Green Goblin from murdering several innocent people on a bridge, Spider-Man takes on the Goblin one on one, enraged by the lunatic's attempts to hurt his loved ones. The Goblin is badly beaten and pleads Spider-Man to stop as the web-slinger is about to kill him. The Goblin then unmasks, revealing his true identity as Norman Osborn, and begs Peter to spare him, stating that he wasn't in control of his actions. He tries to appeal to Peter's emotions, saying that he tried to be a father to him. Peter states that Ben Parker was his father. During the conversation, Osborn secretly activated his Goblin Glider by remote and tried to attack Peter from behind. As the glider accelerated, Peter's spider-sense reacted and he somersaulted over the glider, which then shot toward Osborn and impaled him against a damaged wall. Norman's last words before he died were "Peter... Don't tell Harry..." . After Osborn's death, Spider-Man took his body back to Osborn Manor where Harry spotted him laying his father's lifeless body in his bed. Believing that Spider-Man killed his father, Harry swore revenge against him and would take up the mantle of the New Goblin in Spider-Man 3.

The Amazing Spider-Man 2

Norman Osborn the Amazing Spider Man 2.png

In The Amazing Spider-Man films, Norman Osborn plays a diminished on-screen role, but is nonetheless an important factor in the creation of Spider-Man. Osborn (played by Chris Cooper in Amazing 2) suffered from a hereditary disease known as 'Retroviral Hyperdisplasia' that slowly killed the cells of his body, leaving him partially necrotised. He had worked with Peter Parker's father Richard Parker on a number of genetic engineering projects, the purpose of which was supposedly to produce new medical treatments and perhaps a cure for his own illness. However, Richard later discovered that the research was intended for military use and he sabotaged much of the work before he and his wife fled the U.S.. Osborn had arranged for the Parkers' assassination in retaliation.

Over fifteen years later, Norman was bed-ridden and incapable of any normal day-to-day activity. On the last day of his life, his son Harry returned home from boarding school and Norman revealed to his son that his sickness was genetic and that the symptoms would manifest in late adolescense. He gave Harry a device containing all of the data pertaining to his genetic research which Harry would later put to use in trying to cure himself. Norman then died the next day.

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