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The Green Goblin Theory That Has Marvel Fans Excited

The internet has been obsessed with "Spider-Man: No Way Home" since it became public knowledge. Rumblings of a potential crossover with Tom Holland, Andrew Garfield, and Tobey Maguire's incarnations of the titular wall-crawler have led fans to believe that this could be one of the single most incredible Marvel Cinematic Universe installments to date. It remains to be seen if there's any truth to such rumors at this point, but we do know that villains from all three live-action "Spider-Man" franchises are coming to the Marvel Cinematic Universe to give Holland's Spider-Man a run for his money.

As revealed in the first "No Way Home" trailer, Doctor Strange's (Benedict Cumberbatch) attempt to use magic to change Peter Parker's life for the better has apparently gone terribly wrong. Now Spidey and the Sorcerer Supreme have to contend with a myriad of dangerous villains from across the multiverse, all while trying to send them back to their respective timelines. Electro (Jamie Foxx) and Lizard (Rhys Ifans) represent the "Amazing Spider-Man" continuity, with Sandman (Thomas Haden Church), Doc Ock (Alfred Molina), and Green Goblin (Willem Dafoe) carrying over from director Sam Raimi's "Spider-Man" trilogy.

The second teaser for "Spider-Man: No Way Home" gave fans their best look yet at all five of these bad guys in action. However, fans couldn't help but notice an odd detail about the Green Goblin that has laid the groundwork for an interesting fan theory.

Are multiple Green Goblins in No Way Home?

When Green Goblin first appears in the most recent "Spider-Man: No Way Home" trailer, he looks exactly the same as he did in 2002's "Spider-Man." Wrapped in his jade armor — complete with his signature goblin mask — he stands atop his glider with a pumpkin bomb in hand. However, as shown above, Norman Osborn seems to try out a brand new ensemble at some point in the film. Goggles replace his helmet, additional armor sits on his arms and legs, purple accents cover his neck and chest, and he rides a redesigned glider. Has the iconic Spider-Man foe gotten some upgrades in the MCU, or is something else going on?

In no time at all, Twitter has become entranced with this Green Goblin situation, so naturally, theories have already arisen. According to @RottenTomatoes, they're not the same, and this version of the character will appear alongside the one made famous in "Spider-Man." In trying to sort out their true identity, @constantane posits that this could be a tweaked design for Dane DeHaan's Green Goblin from "The Amazing Spider-Man 2." Meanwhile, @heir_to_23 speculates that we may be looking at Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal) using Osborn's tech to become a unique take on the Hobgoblin.

It's all very compelling stuff and would make sense given the maximalist approach to the Spider-Man film canon that is being taken by "No Way Home." But, we should still brace ourselves for the possibility that the solution is significantly less thrilling.

The second Green Goblin suit could just be a costume change

"Spider-Man: No Way Home" has had a particularly engaging roll-out for fans who love to analyze trailers and behind-the-scenes speculation. From the early buzz about the film's ambitions to the still ever-popular hunt for definitive proof that Tobey Maguire and/or Andrew Garfield will be returning, reading the proverbial tea leaves is becoming as exciting as the movie itself. Those who have been deep in the web of "No Way Home" theories and alleged leaks have seen some of those predictions come true. But perhaps that has made us all a little too susceptible to seeing things that aren't there. We still can't say for sure exactly what the answer to this latest Green Goblin riddle is, but we do need to address the possibility that the most obvious solution may also be a disappointingly simple one.

In a piece in SlashFilm, Jeremy Mathai proposes a theory about the second Green Goblin suit that is as logical as it is unexciting. As he lays it out, "If main characters going through multiple costume changes in a given superhero movie is a time-honored trope, then it's not the biggest stretch to imagine a villain doing the exact same thing."

So, even if the blurry figure from the trailer is indeed a different version of the Green Goblin suit, that doesn't necessarily mean that it's a different Green Goblin wearing it. Mathai argues that the second suit could merely be the result of Osborn sustaining enough battle damage that he "will end up needing to rely on a backup, more cobbled-together suit for future encounters later in the film."

We'll all just have to wait until "Spider-Man: No Way Home" hits theaters on December 17 to know for sure.