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While there are many questions lingering right now about the big screen future of Spider-Man, one thing of which we can probably be sure is that it's going to be a minute before we see another live-action version of the Green Goblin. In the last 17 years we've seen three very different iterations of the supervillain, and for that reason it's likely that he won't be making any kind of big comeback in the next few years.
This is ultimately probably a good thing, and it also makes it easier to appreciate the small role the Green Goblin had in last year's Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse. In fact, according to big screen Spider-Man himself, Tom Holland, what that movie did is really a wonderful thing just because of how hard it is to bring the character to life:
There are characters in the comics who are so hard to bring to life. Like the Green Goblin, for me, is a real difficult one to bring to a live-action screen, so seeing him in [Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse] was so cool, because he stayed true to the comics, and I just, for me, really enjoy different aspects of what Spider-Man is to people and his journey.
Tom Holland made these comments while on a panel at Keystone Comic Con in Pennsylvania (via ComicBook.com) while discussing his broader thoughts about Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse, which is a film that arrived right in the midst of his big screen run as the webslinger in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Not only did the actor express amazement at the simple quality of the film, but also acknowledged how it was able to do certain things that are really challenging in live-action - like adapt the Green Goblin.
As mentioned, we have seen a few movies try and bring the legendary Spidey foe to the big screen in the last two decades, but it's not only because of over-saturation that the Marvel Cinematic Universe canon has stayed away from introducing him. Each of the blockbusters that have featured him have drawn some criticism for the adaptation. The first, of course, was Sam Raimi's Spider-Man, which put him in a kind of goofy, plastic-looking suit of armor:
And then things didn't get better when Raimi's Spider-Man 3 introduced Green Goblin II into the plot. While the film was smart to ditch the helmet, the end result looked more like a flying snowboarder than any classic version of the character:
Then there was Marc Webb's The Amazing Spider-Man 2, which tried to change things up by going a totally different route - specifically by skipping over the Norman Osborn story and having Dane DeHaan's Harry Osborn become the first Green Goblin courtesy of Spider-Man's mutated blood. This one was a mix of multiple issues, with the look not only looking dumb, but also the origin story being a total mess:
As noted by Tom Holland, though, not all of the character's big screen history is sour, as Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse does give us some nice nice time with him - albeit not for very long. It's not the normal version of Green Goblin that we're used to, instead the more giant, demon-like take that was introduced in Marvel's Ultimate comics, but it's still outstanding.
Will we ever seen another live-action version of Green Goblin? The answer is "probably," as Hollywood will never stop producing Spider-Man movies, and eventually filmmakers are going to feel as though enough time has passed for the character to make a comeback. That being said, with everything that's been happening between Marvel Studios and Sony in recent weeks, the exact circumstances of when and how that conclusion will be drawn remains a huge mystery.