Look out Spider-Man! Peter Parker’s life stands to get a little more complicated now that The Amazing Spider-Man 2 has found its Norman Osborn.
The Hollywood Reporter has just announced that Sony and director Marc Webb have signed actor Chris Cooper to play Osborn in the next Spider-Man movie. Cooper, who won an Academy Award for his work in Adaptation, will take up the role memorably portrayed by Willem Dafoe in the original Spider-Man film trilogy.
Norman Osborn – founder of Oscorp, father of Peter Parker’s best friend Harry Osborn (being played in TASM2 by Dane DeHaan), and eventual supervillain Green Goblin – is one of the Spider-Man’s biggest adversaries and a key figure in Peter Parker’s life. But it remains to be seen how big of a role Cooper’s Osborn will have in this next film. Last year’s The Amazing Spider-Man kept Norman shrouded in secrecy while hinting that he was suffering from a mysterious illness. And while it seems inevitable that Osborn will take up the mantle of Green Goblin once more, it’s unclear whether it will happen in this film. Jaime Foxx and Paul Giamatti are already cast as Electro and the Rhino, respectively, in next year’s sequel, and given the backlash received by Spider-Man 3 it seems unlikely that the film would add a third full-fledged villain into the mix.
Still, even if the Goblin Glider remains packed away next summer, casting an actor of Cooper’s caliber in the role signals that the producers have big plans ahead for the character. And with Shailene Woodley joining the cast as Mary Jane Watson, the Spider-Man franchise looks increasingly pointed towards re-enacting one of the most famous storylines in comics history: the death of Gwen Stacy.
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 is set to be released on May 2, 2014.