With each passing day, it is becoming more evident that we are going to see Norman Osborn pop up in the MCU. Will it be in Spider-Man: Far From Home? Some folks think it will be, and although no casting confirmation has been released by Marvel for the role of Osborn, that hasn’t stopped theories from spreading and fans from hoping.
In all likelihood, if Osborn is in Far From Home, it will probably just be a tease of what’s to come, so we won’t actually see him. The MCU version of Spider-Man 3 is the more likely bet in my opinion, but one way or another, Osborn and his Green Goblin alter ego will show up.
So the million dollar question: Who should play the MCU’s Norman Osborn?
Hey, Marvel, why have you not cast McConaughey in the MCU yet?! I mean, come on now, in the words of McConaughey’s stoner persona, Wooderson from Dazed & Confused, “it’d be a lot cooler if you did.”
McConaughey is one of the greatest actors of our generation and this era without dispute. He has a name people recognize immediately, one that draws people to see a film. I’m sure Marvel would love to add his name to their roster of phenomenal actors and actresses already in the MCU.
His body of work speaks for itself, as do his accolades. McConaughey is a gifted and versatile actor who is beyond being typecast because he nails any role thrown at him. Having said that, he rarely plays the role of the villain.
Outside of his role in the 2017 adaptation of The Dark Tower as the villainous Walter Paddock, he hasn’t had too many roles as the antagonist. It will definitely be a change, but I’m confident McConaughey would give us an extremely memorable performance as Osborn, one that could rival that of the fantastic, cartoonish performance we witnessed from Willem Defoe.
This is another actor I’m genuinely surprised hasn’t appeared in a comic book movie at all. Hamm may not have the acting credits or accolades that McConaughey does, but make no mistake, he’s every bit as much of a household name.
Hamm’s star and popularity skyrocketed after his scene-stealing performance in AMC’s ratings monster, Mad Men, where he played Don Draper, an egotistical and womanizing advertising big shot.
He showed playing the manipulative, charming and egotistical corporate big shot is something that comes pretty natural to him. Hmmm…who else is a manipulative corporate big shot in the Marvel Universe? Why, that would be Norman Osborn!
He’s also shown through roles in Edgar Wright’s acclaimed film, Baby Driver, and the spy film, Keeping Up With the Joneses, that he is no slouch in the action department either. Hamm is more than capable of giving us a terrific Norman Osborn and he’s another well-known name Marvel could–and should–add to their collection.
This one is a little bit from out of left field. If you’re asking yourself “Who is Toby Stephens?” I’m sure you’re not alone. He’s more of a lesser-known talent, definitely lesser known than Matthew McConaughey or Jon Hamm, but no less talented, I assure you.
If you really want to know what Toby Stephens is all about, you need only to watch the Starz hit series, Black Sails. Not only is the show phenomenal, but Stephens carries much of that show with his incredibly emotional and badass performance as Captain James Flint.
Stephens doesn’t have a lot of high-profile, blockbuster type acting credits to his name. His biggest roles were both on television series Black Sails, as mentioned earlier, and Netflix’s Lost in Space. His biggest film credit was in Michael Bay’s 13 Hours: The Secret Soldier of Benghazi.
These roles showcase Stephens’ dramatic chops and ability to handle heavy amounts of action. Stephens’ talent is undeniable. He would give us an emotional, ruthless, and intimidating performance as Norman Osborn, which is something fresh that we haven’t seen yet from this character.
Good old Lucius Malfoy! Is it me or does it seem like it’s been awhile since Jason Isaacs has been in anything? There was a time when you saw him everywhere and in everything, and then poof!
Most of the geek/nerd community will recognize him mainly from the Harry Potter series where he played Lucius Malfoy, the evil, arrogant, and cowardly father of Harry’s archenemy at school, Draco Malfoy. You’ve gotta give Isaacs credit for at least one thing for that role: he did great job at making the audience absolutely hate him.
That’s the sign of a good actor. The audience wouldn’t hate the character if the actor playing that character wasn’t making them feel actual emotion. Jason Isaacs is, without a doubt, a terrific actor and one that Marvel would be lucky to get. He has had numerous evil, antagonistic roles throughout his career in addition to his role in Harry Potter.
Think of his roles as the inhumane and ruthless Colonel William Tavington in The Patriot to his role as Dr. Heinreich Volmer in the insanely weird A Cure for Wellness. If you’re looking for someone to give you an intense, calculated, and menacing villain, look no further than Jason Isaacs.
James Bond? A villain?! What?! I hear you, but hear me out.
Craig is another big name and proven talent that is hard to believe hasn’t appeared in a single comic book film. From the X-Men, to the MCU, and all the way to the DCEU (World’s of DC?), not a single role for Mr. Craig.
It’s a shame really because Craig is a phenomenal actor, but perhaps he’s just been too busy seducing women and saving the world himself? I can imagine being the world’s greatest secret agent can be a little time consuming.
However, with Bond 25 believed to be Craig’s last run as 007, his schedule could be opening up. What better transition to fill that gap than to go from world’s greatest secret agent to Spider-Man’s greatest enemy? His roles in films like the Bond films and Cowboys vs Aliens show that Craig is more than capable of handling action heavy roles, which is crucial because we could be seeing some epic Spidey v Green Goblin action.
He’s also an actor with a lot of range, pulling off an intelligent, smug businessman will be a walk in park. Craig is a veteran in this game, a veteran with a lot of experience who knows just how to elevate every scene he’s in with just his presence alone. From Bond to Goblin? Your move Marvel.
Last, but certainly not least, Mr. Ari Gold, ladies and gentleman. I’m not sure if this is even possible as I highly doubt Marvel and Disney would hire him (and rightfully so) given all of the accusations that have been made (and some proven) against Piven.
However, you’re lying to yourself if you don’t think he would be a fantastic Norman Osborn. In all honesty, for proof you don’t have to look any further than his acclaimed role in HBO’s hit series, Entourage, as everyone’s favorite super agent with severe anger issues, Ari Gold.
Piven’s portrayal of Ari is an extremely complex one and a role that really requires Piven to flex his acting muscles. Ari is a complicated character; he’s arrogant but only because he has a right to be and he’s an asshole because he’s an asshole, but he’s also a very loyal agent to Vinny and he loves his family more than anything. In that role alone, Piven has proven that he can give a layered performance as Norman Osborn; one that is eccentric, intense, and emotional.
He can play the arrogant businessman with absolute ease, but can he play the evil super villain alter ego of that businessman? I truly believe he can, and I truly believe audiences would love it. It’s a shame we’ll probably never get to see it.