Note: This article is about Green Goblin from the Sam Raimi film series. For mainstream Green Goblin, see: Green Goblin.

Villain Overview

I chose my path, you chose the way of the hero. And they found you amusing for a while, the people of this city. But the one thing they love more than a hero, is to see a hero fail, fall, die trying. In spite of everything you've done for them, eventually they will hate you. Why bother?
~ The Green Goblin to Spider-Man
Spider-Man! This is why only fools are heroes — because you never know when some lunatic will come along with a sadistic choice. Let die the woman you love... or suffer the little children! Make your choice, Spider-Man, and see how a hero is rewarded! We are who we choose to, CHOOSE!
~ Goblin holding Mary Jane and a tram full of innocent children hostage forcing Spider-Man to decide whom to save first.
You've spun your last web, Spider-Man! If you had not been so selfish, your little girlfriend's death would have been quick and painless. But now that you really pissed me off, I'm gonna finish her nice and slow. MJ and I, we're gonna have a hell of a time!
~ Green Goblin to Spider-Man

Norman Osborn, also known as The Green Goblin, is the main antagonist of the 2002 film, Spider-Man. He was Spider-Man's arch enemy, and as such, it was no surprise that when the film was released, he was the chosen villain. Though still very much a villain, he had a few differences from his mainstream counterpart. He later appears in visions as a posthumous antagonist in Spider-Man 2 and Spider-Man 3 as his son Harry Osborn takes up the mantle of the New Goblin in Spider-Man 3.

He was portrayed by Willem Dafoe who also portrayed John Geiger, Rat, Lord Cob, Nikolai Diavolo, Eric Masters, Armando Barillo and will portray Ryuk.


Norman Osborn was the wealthy owner of Oscorp. He was first seen driving his son Harry to the spider genetics lab in the family limo (much to Harry's embarrassment who would much rather arrive by bus like all the other students). He was initially pleasant and supporting of Peter's friendship and scientific potential, and also wanted his own son to recognize his own potential. Unfortunately, Norman's company began to struggle, with Osborn's promised performance-enhancing serum for a military contract having been hit with setbacks, not the least of which being that rodents that it had been tested on have displayed violence, aggression, and insanity. Upon being told that his funding was on the verge of being cut, Norman became desperate and ultimately tested the serum on himself. The process drove him insane and he promptly murdered his own assistant, Dr. Mendell Stromm. Norman woke up afterwards in his home, amnesiac, and sick.

The Goblin attacking the Unity Festival

Later, Quest Aerospace, another company that competed for the military contract, suffered a bombing attack, that was unknowingly caused by Osborn using some of his own inventions. Following the attack, Osborn learned that Quest had decided to use in wake of the attack to capitalise and expand; they had made a deal with his Board of Directors with the intent of buying Oscorp, and the Board expected Norman's resignation. Enraged at being forced out of his own company, Osborn again became the Green Goblin and murdered the board members, and also first encountered Spider-Man, whom he became intrigued by. Waking up the next morning, Osborn at last realized what he was doing, but he succumbed to the influence of his malevolent and sadistic other half. Attacking Spider-Man, he tried to convince him to join his cause, but he was later rejected.

Spider-Man and Green Goblin 2nd battle

Later the Goblin burns a apartment building to get Spider-Man's attention he ask will he join him Spider-Man declines and they fight. They are equally matched but the Goblin gains a slight advantage over Peter since he cuts his arm but Peter uses his web to throw the Goblin and escaping him since he was too strong.

As time passes, Norman began to lose himself more and more to the Green Goblin half inside him, after contemplating on how to gain the strength to take the web head down Harry reveals that Peter is in love with Mary Jane. With this information the Goblin was able to piece it together by remembering Peter's cut on the wrist which both relates to Spider-Man, Norman then negotiates with his inner self and Goblin States the best way to stop the hero is to attack his heart. Goblin attacked and threatened May Parker to spite Spider-Man, and also let him know that he was aware of his secret identity. The two's feud came to a head when the Green Goblin abducted Mary Jane and threatened to kill her, and forced Spider-Man to choose between her or a sky-cab full of innocent civilians, including children. Spider-Man, however, was able to save both the sky-cab and Mary Jane, and who was assisted by civilians who attacked Green Goblin and condemned him for his threatening children's lives.

Green Goblin and Spider-Man final battle. Goblin demonstrates his strength and agility overcoming Spider-Man.

Enraged, Green Goblin took Spider-Man using a well aimed cable toss to drag him to a deserted area where their battle resumed. Green Goblin threw a pumpkin bomb which destroyed Spider-Man's mask, damaging his costume and injured him. Green Goblin then states out of pity "misery" "misery" "misery that's what you chosen" meaning that Spider-Man brought this on himself and betrayed Green Goblin's offer of friendship. Rather than fight him with gadgets or other weapons, Goblin wants to give Peter a more brutal beating with his strength than weapons. Green Goblin savagely beats Spider-Man which made Goblin gain the upperhand. As much as Spider-Man tried to fight back, he couldn't due to his injuries although he those use his web to stop him but with the Goblin's strength he rips it. Spider-Man is then incapacitated and defeated. Just as Green Goblin was about to win he had got a trident to kill Spider-Man and vowed to make Mary Jane suffer as punishment for Spider-Man's "really pissing him off". However, that threat only succeeded in invigorating Spider-Man, who managed to defeat and subdue the Green Goblin. As Spider-Man punches him a few times, till the Goblin realized he's had enough, then he finally unmasked himself as Norman Osborn, who begged for forgiveness from a horrified Spider-Man by saying 'be a son to me now' that he loved him like his own son. Unfortunately, the Green Goblin's hold on Norman was strong enough for Norman to attempt to skewer Spider-Man from behind with his glider. Alerted to it by his Spider-Sense, Spider-Man moved out of the way and Norman was impaled by his own glider. Freed from the Green Goblin's control, Norman accepts his fate as he tells Peter not to tell Harry about his crimes, right before he finally dies leaving Peter in sorrow for not only losing another father figure but Harry's dad.

Out of pity, Spider-Man took Norman's corpse back to the Osborn Mansion and left, but not before Harry spotted him with his father's body. At Norman’s funeral, Harry vowed to exact revenge on Spider-Man, believed him responsible for killing his father, and asserted that Peter was all that he had left.

Though deceased, the malevolent half of Norman Osborn would live on as a figment of Harry Osborn's imagination, which goaded him to continue his father's legacy and seek vengeance on Spider-Man. In Spider-Man 2, Harry teamed up with Doc Ock and soon learned about Spider-Man' true identity before developing a feud against him. However, in Spider-Man 3, Harry learned about the true circumstances behind his father's death from his butler, so he abandoned his vendetta against Spider-Man, even helping him in saving Mary Jane from Venom and Sandman.


Green Goblin is smart and strong able to use his intelligence to have Spider-Man choose who to save which made Spider-Man in a conflict. The Goblin also has his glider for flight. He has bladed sharp weapons. Green Goblin has superhuman strength that is on par with Spider-Man cable of brutally beating Spider-Man with kicks, uppercuts, and punches during the final battle without getting so much as a scratch from Spider-Man. Able to identify Spider-Man's true identity. Green Goblin uses pumpkin bombs also as a weapon and razor bats which did manage to cut Spider-Man also sleeping gas as well.

His final weapon is his glider which he uses for transportation and rarely only used it twice mostly the Goblin would mostly fight Spider-Man in hand to hand rather than air. Some of Goblin's abilities is also agility possibly just as much as Spider-Man as he's able to flip towards him during the final battle. Goblin didn't have any major injuries during battles with Spider-Man that got a bomb blasted in his face but when Spider-Man pulls the wall down, Goblin is still superdurable enough to still be able to climb out of it although badly hurt.


Green Goblin's suit

The Goblin has a shiny metal green suit that's pressed and manufactured were it fits the mask and glider and the person wearing it. The mask is a goblin mask with yellow eyes and an opening for his mouth. On his left leg is a button which slides the eyes of the mask up for Goblin to see. On his right arm is also a button for the glider to come. He has metal green layer on his arms and chest without weighing him with heavier armor. On his wrists are button's as well for the sleeping gas he used against Spider-Man. As for his abdomen, back, and legs which instead of mostly green armor it is smooth out where the wearer can move easily and not restricted.


Hello, my dear!
~ Green Goblin to Mary Jane
I surrender!
~ Goblin pretending to surrender before taking out the cops
~ Goblin complimenting Spider-Man's fighting before punching him
We'll meet again, Spider-Man
~ Green Goblin
Out, am I!?
~ Green Goblin to the Oscorp Board members before killing them
You're pathetically predictable, like a moth to the flame! What about my generous proposal? Are you in or are you out?
~ Green Goblin to Spider-Man about the choice of joining him or not.
Wrong answer!
No one says no to me!
~ Green Goblin
Finish it! FINISH IT!
~ Green Goblin telling Aunt May to finish her prayer as he attacks her in her own home.
Can Spider-Man come out to play?.
~ Norman as The Goblin to Peter over the phone
It's time to die!
~ Green Goblin attempts to kill Spider-Man
Misery, misery, misery that's what you've chosen. I offered you friendship, and you spat in my face!
~ Green Goblin as he attacks and beats Spider-Man
God-speed Spider-Man.
~ Green Goblin right before he's killed by his own glider.
Peter...don't tell Harry
~ Norman Osborn's last words before his demise.
~ Norman to Harry in Harry's vision.


William Dafoe won a New York Film Critics Online Award for Best Supporting Actor and was nominated for an MTV Movie Award for Best Villain.

David Germain of Peninsula Clarion stated "Dafoe's best moments come in schizoid debates between the tremulous Osborn and his snarling alter-ego, his internal struggle eliciting occasional compassion among viewers".

Tulsa World stated "Willem Dafoe shoots the moon as Norman Osborn, an unhinged scientist who becomes a masked supervillain called the Green Goblin. Encased in gleaming armor and cackling maniacally as he zips around on a one-man jet glider, he provides some of the film's most dynamic images. However, the Goblin is only half as scary as Dafoe without the mask. In one memorable scene he debates the nature of his own evil with his reflection in a mirror, successfully taking more risks as an actor than Jack Nicholson in "Batman" or his own tour de force in "Shadow of the Vampire." As much fun as Dafoe is to watch, it's in some of his scenes where the film nearly goes off the rails. At times the Goblin is almost too menacing for this otherwise good-hearted adventure."

Stylistically, there was heavy criticism of the Green Goblin's costume, which led IGN's Richard George to comment years later, "We're not saying the comic book costume is exactly thrilling, but the Goblin armor (the helmet in particular) from Spider-Man is almost comically bad... Not only is it not frightening, it prohibits expression.


  • During the final battle scene it was supposed to be more brutal with more blood and the use of razor sharp weapons again and Spider-Man's beating was supposed to be more brutal but they decided to tone it down to meet PG-13 rating.
  • After he became insane and gained his malevolent and sadistic other half, Norman became the Dragon to himself, since no one knew that Norman was the Green Goblin (at least until the climax when he revealed himself to Spider-Man).
  • Willem Dafoe portrayed Norman Osborn in each of the three films of the Raimi Spider-Man Trilogy. Although his character was killed during the climax of the first film, Norman appeared in the other two films as a vision/hallucination to his son, Harry, thus, he liked to manipulate him and drive him into trying killing Spider-Man.
    • Aside from appearing as a vision of Norman Osborn in Spider-Man 3, Dafoe appears in a cameo as a customer in a club that Peter Parker and Gwen Stacy go to.
  • Norman Osborn, a.k.a. the Green Goblin, also appeared as the main antagonist in the 2002 Video Game based on the film. In the game, his main scheme was to take Spider-Man's blood and inject it to himself, in order to improve himself but in the film, his scheme was to defeat and kill Spider-Man, kill his loved ones and destroy the city with his equipment. In the game, unlike in the movie, he was also killed by his glider's blades, that hit him straight in his body, and not in his stomach, which left him to die alone while the glider flew away.
  • Norman's Goblin character was also a playable character in the game.
  • Nicolas Cage, John Malkovich, John Travolta and Robert De Niro were all offered the role of the Green Goblin but they turned it down. John Malkovich, John Travolta and Robert De Niro have previously played villains before they were offered the role of the Green Goblin: John Malkovich played Mitch Leary and Cyrus Grissom, John Travolta played Vic Deakins, Castor Troy and Gabriel Shear and Robert De Niro played Jimmy Conway, Max Cady, Ace Rothstein and Gil Renard.
  • The Goblin didn't make an appearance in costume near the beginning of his respective film until the second half.
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