That Time Spider-Man: No Way Home’s Tom Holland Didn’t Know Willem Dafoe Had Joined The Film And Got ‘Scared’ By Him On Set

Tom Holland and Willem Dafoe
(Image credit: Sony Pictures)

Most fans probably know by now that when it comes to the Marvel Cinematic Universe, there’s plenty of secrecy involved, especially with its biggest productions. As a result, in some rare cases, even the actual stars of said projects aren’t even privy to every detail. This was the case for Spider-Man: No Way Home lead Tom Holland, who recently revealed that he was unaware Green Goblin actor Willem Dafoe had signed on for the film. And that lack of knowledge ultimately led to an encounter between the two stars, which left Holland a bit “scared.”

To mark the release of the latest No Way Home trailer this past week, the British actor appeared at a fan event and spoke about his experience making the movie. During the chat (via IndieWire), he explained the secrecy regarding the film’s plethora of comic book antagonists. From there, he described his perfect reaction to meeting Willem Dafoe on set for the first time:

It’s actually a funny story when I met Willem for the first time. Obviously, at that time, all of the villains in the film, it was a huge secret that they were in the film. So they would walk around set with these cloaks on. Naturally, these guys were very excited to be coming back and bringing these roles back to life. I just sort of bumped into this guy in a cloak. I was like, ‘Watch out, mate.’ He took his cloak off, and I almost got really scared — Oh shit, the Goblin’s here.

Imagine being on a Hollywood production so massive that you just casually run into Oscar-nominated performers on the set. I honestly don’t know what I would’ve done if I’d run into Willem Dafoe in that way. But if I really think about it, I probably would’ve just geeked out a bit before asking him a bunch of questions. Sure, it’s definitely how you’d expect a fan to react in such a situation, but I don’t feel too bad about that given the Peter Parker actor was also a bit overwhelmed.

And there was certainly quite a bit of star power on the set of the highly anticipated MCU installment to get one hyped. In addition to the Norman Osborn star, the third installment welcomed Doctor Octopus himself, Alfred Molina and Electro actor Jamie Foxx. As Tom Holland mentioned, the stars seem more than happy to be back in the Marvel fold. Foxx, who previously teased his involvement, has now been having more fun dropping hints about his return. As for Molina, he was so excited that he actually confirmed his role shortly after it was first reported. You can see all of the comic book baddies in action in the new trailer down below:

While the various villains no longer seem to be a mystery to audiences, there are still plenty of questions surrounding the production. The biggest obviously relates to the rumored inclusions of former Spider-Men Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield. Neither actor has confirmed themselves for the movie, though many believe they will indeed be swinging by to lend the latest wall-crawler some help in his multiversal battle.

Regardless of whether they appear though, fans should still be very pleased to see so many other familiar faces. The trailers haven’t shown too much of Willem Dafoe’s crafty bad guy but, based on what’s been revealed, the actor is going to bring his A-game. I’m personally looking forward to being creeped out by that goblin laugh again after so many years. 

Spider-Man: No Way Home opens in theaters on December 17th. And if you want to revisit Willem Dafoe's greatest moments as the iconic villain, you can stream Sam Raimi's Spider-Man trilogy on Hulu.

Erik Swann
Senior Content Producer

Covering superheroes, sci-fi, comedy, and almost anything else in film and TV. I eat more pizza than the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles.