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Spider-Man: Far From Home Might Introduce Norman Osborn To The MCU

It may be time for Spider-Man's Biggest Bad to join the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Beyond the Trailer's Grace Randolph recently took to Twitter to state that one of her sources had caught a screening of Spider-Man: Far From Home — and that the flick is set to serve as a formal introduction for the industrialist, politician, and sometime supervillain Norman Osborn, AKA the Green Goblin.

Randolph's tweet seems to confirm a rumor that we reported on a few days ago, when the Peruvian newspaper La Republica published a report detailing Far From Home's post-credits sequences. Although the newspaper cited no sources — meaning that there's a chance that their piece may have been, well, malarkey — its claim was that the stingers would introduce not only Norman Osborn, but his son Harry (often portrayed as Peter Parker's best buddy in the comics), and Gwen Stacy as well. 

The report seemed to fit with a rumor that had recently been floated on the r/MarvelStudiosSpoilers subreddit by someone who claimed to be a special effects artist employed by Disney. According to that anonymous individual, one of Far From Home's post-credits scenes will feature the formation of the Sinister Six, as five villains who have beef with Spidey — Jake Gyllenhaal's Mysterio (who may not be as heroic as he's been presented thus far) and Michael Keaton's Vulture, plus the Chameleon, Scorpion, and Shocker — are brought together by ol' Normie in his new Oscorp digs, which happens to be the old Avengers Tower. While this is also in no way confirmed, Randolph's tweet strongly suggests that it is at least partially accurate.

As you can see, she posted a very short GIF of a very specific sequence from Far From Home's trailer, in which Spidey is seen swinging in front of Avengers Tower — which is under construction, implying that it's been sold. When pressed for details, Randolph confirmed that her assertion was informed by "info from the screening today."

Now, this must be stated: there obviously exists the possibility that Randolph's source was simply pulling her leg. People broadcast misinformation for lots of weird reasons, and we can think of a couple of good points as to why Marvel Studios might not necessarily be keen on bringing Osborn to the MCU party.

First: the character has been done onscreen before, and done well, in the wall-crawler's very first cinematic appearance. Willem Dafoe's turn as Osborn in Sam Raimi's Spider-Man was very well-received (even if his Green Goblin costume was... not so well-received), and even nearly 20 years later, his performance will be a tough act to follow.

Second: introducing Norman Osborn almost certainly means that Harry will follow (unless Marvel Studios simply chooses to ignore that character), and Peter's relationship with Harry was a strong through line of Raimi's entire series. Kevin Feige and company have shown a strong disinclination to revisit storylines and characters that have already been portrayed on film, in particular when it comes to the Spider-Man series. Going back to the well of the Peter/Harry relationship — or, for that matter, the Peter/Gwen Stacy relationship which was the backbone of Marc Webb's Amazing Spider-Man reboot series — wouldn't make a great deal of sense. Plus, you may have notice that the villains that have come into play so far in the MCU's Spider-Man series — Vulture, Shocker, and Mysterio — have never been a part of any previous Spidey movie, and ol' webhead has an extensive enough rogues' gallery that Marvel and Sony could keep cranking out Spider-Man flicks for years without the need for Osborn to ever make an appearance. 

Having said that, we can also think of one or two good reasons why putting up a new version of the character could be a strong possibility. First and foremost: he's awesome. No other villain is as traditionally associated with Spider-Man, and as iconic as Dafoe's performance was, even the biggest fans of the Raimi flicks will likely admit to some surprise that the villain was killed off in the movie in which he was introduced. Of course, this was in the time before cinematic universes and reboots galore; a time, even, when nobody was really sure if the superhero genre was a viable one. Still, dispatching Spidey's most fearsome nemesis in the wall-crawler's very first movie was seen as a surprising move even by early '00s audiences.

Also: the MCU is in dire need of a new Big Bad, one that is every bit as complex and interesting as its last one, if not more so. To be sure, Thanos is (in our humble opinion) one of the greatest screen villains of all time, one with interesting motivations and a truly insane level of power (even before collecting all six Infinity Stones). But, once again, Marvel Studios is not in the retread business. Sure, with the Cosmic side of the MCU apparently coming strongly into play for Phase 4, we're sure to see some kind of variation of the "intergalactic warlord" archetype in the movies to come — but as the mastermind behind a long, overarching narrative? Been there, done that.

Norman Osborn would be a far more interesting choice. Far from being simply a Spider-Man villain, he's been a major thorn in the sides of a great many of Marvel's heroes for decades. His obsession with power, wealth, and prestige has led him to some truly dark places over those years, even as he has at times cut a sympathetic figure with love for Harry and his constant struggle with his villainous alter-ego the Green Goblin, which is prone to kind of operating of its own accord.

But, while he may not exactly exist on the same existential threat-level plane as Thanos, Osborn has proven in multiple comics storylines to be an extremely formidable threat. Some of those storylines would be ripe for the cinematic treatment, with some even having been rumored to be in the works for Marvel's Phase 4 slate. This is a man who had the sheer gumption to orchestrate a siege of Asgard; who attempted to take control of the extremely dangerous entity known as the Void (the id, if you will, of the heroic Sentry) for his own nefarious purposes;  and who willingly bonded with the insane, murderous Carnage symbiote as part of his never-ending quest for even more power.

Then, there was the Dark Reign event, in which Osborn formed his own team of "Dark Avengers," villainous stand-ins for the real deal. After helping to repel a Skrull incursion during the Secret Invasion event, Osborn used his newfound status as a hero to manipulate world affairs, with his new Avengers team serving as a blunt instrument with which he could accomplish his goals. Among their ranks were Daredevil's nemesis Bullseye (presented as the new Hawkeye), Venom (standing in for Spider-Man), and frequent Avengers baddie Moonstone (who became the "dark" version of Ms. Marvel). Osborn himself became the Iron Man-esque "hero" known as the Iron Patriot; of course, if a version of this storyline were ever to appear in the MCU (as has been heavily rumored), this would need a tweak due to James Rhodes' usage of that moniker during the events of Iron Man 3.

Indeed, introducing Osborn into the MCU could open up a wealth of new storytelling possibilities, not all of them having to do with Spider-Man. If these rumors are accurate — and we must reiterate that they are, for the time being, just rumors — we have to believe that Normie won't simply be a one-off villain, but will be part of a long game on the part of Marvel Studios. 

All will be revealed when Spider-Man: Far From Home hits screens on July 2.