Yesterday we put together a list of 5 actors that could replace Andrew Garfield as the MCU’s Spider-Man. Today, we are going to continue that idea by throwing together a list of actors that could easily fit the villain role of Norman Osborn a.k.a. The Green Goblin. The Green Goblin is Spider-Man’s biggest rival and arch-enemy who is always pushing the web slinger to his limits. With a reboot in store, and Marvel’s Kevin Feige and Amy Pascal producing the 2017 standalone Spider-Man film, this villain will hopefully meet his full potential.
Sam Raimi’s trilogy had Willem Dafoe, who was awesome, but only lasted a single film because the series was more focused on showing Harry Osborn taking up the mantle. Marc Webb avoided having Norman be the Goblin all together and, again, moved right into Dane Dehaan’s Harry as the villain. There’s definitely a better dramatic dynamic when Peter has to face off against his best friend turned bad, but Norman is the true Goblin king, and hopefully we get to see a longer lasting version of him this time around.
In the meantime, here are five awesome actors that could probably pull off some amazing Norman Osborn performances.
5. Jeremy Piven
This is the wild card/dark horse choice on the list. Jeremy Piven has shown us his anger-exploding personality as powerful talent agent Ari Gold on Entourage. Piven is a lot of fan’s favorite character on the show for his stuck-up attitude and great one liners. Although it wouldn’t be the best overall fit, I could really see Piven pulling off the Norman Osborne role and fans absolutely loving it. I have no problem believing Piven can show us evil and crazy, but my only concerns are that he looks too young for the role, not to mention we’ve seen him be mean and funny but not truly psychotically evil. Surprisingly, Jeremy Piven is 49 years old, but he looks significantly younger, which might give viewers a hard time buying into the idea that he is Harry’s father.
4. Mark Strong
Mark Strong has become typecast as a movie villain, but he’s honestly just so good at it. He’s played iconic roles, such as Sinestro in the failed Green Lantern film, Frank D’Amico in Kick-Ass, and even Lord Blackwood in Sherlock Holmes. The man is good at being bad, and since he wasn’t brought on to play Lex Luther in the future Superman and DC films, why not bring him over to Marvel? Strong gives off a powerful vibe similarly to Osborn the businessman and also has the ability to get pretty loud and menacing, which makes me believe he could hop on a glider and show us his crazy goblin side.
3. Bryan Cranston
There’s isn’t too much of an explanation to this pick; Cranston played arguably the best villain on television ever in the iconic role of Walter White on Breaking Bad. Since then, everyone has wanted to see Cranston give us some more amazing acting as a bad guy. He’s been creeping back into movies with roles in Drive and Godzilla and, even more recently, has even been rumored as a top choice for the villain in the upcoming third Star Trek film. I think a lot of people would love to see him play Norman, because he can easily deceive you with a charming smile (like the one shown in the photo above) and in the snap of a finger be one of the baddest guys we’ve ever met.
2. Christopher Meloni
I can’t take full credit to this one, which I saw in a comment over at the Marvel Subreddit, but I 100% agree with the idea. Meloni is highly regarded for his role as Elliot Stabler on Law & Order: Special Victims Unit and got to show a little bit of his villainous side in the fifth season of HBO’s True Blood (before he was killed off WAY too quickly). It would be great to see him pick up more big time movie roles, and he has already been featured in recent films such as Man of Steel and 42. Meloni gives off a really powerful vibe similar to Don Draper from Mad Men and has, probably, the best natural Norman Osborn look of all our five candidates.
1. Ralph Fiennes
Topping off the list is another actor that has proven himself to be phenomenal at playing a menacing bad guy: Ralph Fiennes. The man was brilliant in the role of Lord Voldemort through the entire Harry Potter film series and displayed all different ranges of evil. We’ve witnessed his nice and charming side as M. Gustave in last year’s hit, The Grand Budapest Hotel, seen him do spy work as Gareth Mallory in Skyfall, and even play the lord of the underworld, Hades, in the Clash of the Titans and Wrath of the Titans remakes. He definitely looks the part of Norman Osborn, rich business owner and father, but could just as easily put on a Green Goblin suit and terrorize the city.