Recently, enigmatic Oscar winner Matthew McConaughey made it known that he has been entertaining scripts for superhero properties from both Marvel and DC, though he stopped short of revealing, in any detail, which projects and roles were being placed on his table. Today, one possible role has reached the surface.
A website called Point of Geeks is going on record to say that Matthew McConaughey has been approached by Marvel to play Norman Osborn in the soon-to-be-rebooted Spider-Man series. The site claims that there have been "basic talks" between the actor and the studio, and they are quick to point out that in the same quotes given to Variety about reading Marvel scripts, McConaughey admitted that "nothing has been right for me yet." Does that mean he already has passed on the chance to play Norman before the project got off the ground?
We know next to nothing about Marvel’s first foray into Spider-Man territory, beyond the fact that the movie will reach theaters in July 2017. While Asa Butterfield, of Hugo and Ender’s Game, had his name linked to the role of Peter Parker, nothing has been confirmed after a flurry of activity surrounding the rumor. The project has no director, at the moment. It has no Spider-Man!
Beyond that, the idea that a rebooted Spider-Man would use Norman Osborn is… tricky. Osborn – while integral to Spider-Man history – has been a huge part of both Spider-Man franchises so far. Willem Dafoe and James Franco played competing Osborns in Sam Raimi’s trilogy, while OsCorp was painted as the "Big Bad" in Marc Webb’s movies. Everything that we have been hearing about Marvel’s first Spidey movie with Sony is that they want to distance themselves from what has been done in those films. Rushing in to Norman Osborn and his green, gobliny alter ego would seem to forge a direct connection to those films, would it not?
That being said, landing an Oscar winner like Matthew McConaughey usually boosts the pedigree of almost every project. I’m not sure I ever would have pegged a Texan like McConaughey to play Norman. But the actor’s range is incredible, and there are far worse choices of actors to play Norman Osborn on screen in a Spider-Man movie than Mr. Interstellar, himself.
Do I think this is going to happen? Not really. Maybe Marvel approached McConaughey, and maybe he told them that the role isn’t for him. What I do find interesting is that if this story is true, then the studio has Norman Osborn – and the Green Goblin – on the brain… and that could give us a strong indication of the villain we will see in the Spider-Man movie that’s due to hit theaters in 2017.
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Sean O’Connell is a journalist and CinemaBlend’s Managing Editor. Having been with the site since 2011, Sean interviewed myriad directors, actors and producers, and created ReelBlend, which he proudly cohosts with Jake Hamilton and Kevin McCarthy. And he's the author of RELEASE THE SNYDER CUT, the Spider-Man history book WITH GREAT POWER, and an upcoming book about Bruce Willis.