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Spider-Man's Green Goblin Mask Almost Looked Terrifyingly Different

One of the big departures that Sam Raimi's "Spider-Man" makes from the comic book source material is with the design of its titular hero's nemesis, the Green Goblin (Willem Dafoe). Whereas the comic book version of the character takes the "Green Goblin" moniker very seriously and literally, he appears in the 2002 film wearing a suit of metallic green armor and a terrifying Goblin helmet. While the latter piece of his costume retains the shape and style of the character's face in the comics, there's also no way anyone could look at it and think it's Norman Osborn's actual head.

Of course, when a film like "Spider-Man" is being developed and put together, there are plenty of ideas that are ultimately discarded or replaced along the way. One behind-the-scenes video, in particular, reveals that Dafoe's Green Goblin came close to looking very, very different in "Spider-Man" from how he does in the finished version of the movie.

The Green Goblin mask almost kept the character's comic book design

As can be seen in a video from studioADI, Willem Dafoe's Green Goblin also wore a completely different mask on-screen than he ultimately did in 2002's "Spider-Man." The discarded mask itself is quite expressive, not to mention somewhat terrifying. Indeed, had the film's creative team stuck with this version of the character, that likely would have resulted in Norman turning into an actual monster in "Spider-Man," rather than just adopting the look of one with his armor.

It's easy to see why such a concept would appeal to a director like Sam Raimi, who was known mostly for horror films like the "Evil Dead" franchise when he signed on to work on the 2002 superhero film. This Green Goblin mask does, after all, resemble something out of one of Raimi's "Evil Dead" films — or perhaps "Darkman."

According to Screen Rant, Raimi ended up discarding this Goblin mask before Willem Dafoe was cast in the role. That could have been due to concerns about how the design could affect the greater tone of the film, or how much time it would have taken to apply such an elaborate mask to anyone who ended up playing the character on-screen.

Whatever the reason, the mask was discarded and replaced with the Green Goblin armor we all know and the rest is, as they say, history.