Chris Cooper is joining the seemingly always expanding family of The Amazing Spider-Man sequel as Norman Osborn, the man who eventually becomes the Green Goblin, and while he may not be a super villain just yet, that might be a very good thing.
As The Hollywood Reporter noted, it's unclear whether or not the Academy Award-winning actor will become an actual bad guy in this film — there are already two villains lined up, Jamie Foxx as Electro and Paul Giamatti as The Rhino. In the Spider-Man comic mythology Norman is a mentor figure to Peter Parker before he turns very bad, and outlets like Empire are speculating that Cooper could inhabit that part of the character. All of which could also prolong the life of Emma Stone's Gwen Stacy, who in the comic books dies in a conflict with the Green Goblin. We're crossing our fingers that director Marc Webb, whose first Andrew Garfield-starring Spider-Man effort was heralded as one of last year's underrated blockbusters, allows this Green Goblin character some time to develop — a slow build would be more Dark Knight-style Harvey Dent, pre-"Two Face"; a villain combo might be more like Batman Forver, when Tommy Lee Jones quickly becomes lost behind makeup and Jim Carrey's Riddler starts howling all over the place.
That said, Cooper has had practice playing both over-the-top bad guys and creepy fathers. And while he's not quite as unsettling an actor as Willem Dafoe, who played Norman in the 2002 version of the tale, he probably won't be flying around Manhattan on a surfboard quite as ridiculously as Dafoe was either. And folks on Twitter seem to think that the new choice is a good one:
Chris Cooper aka that mean guy from every movie ever is playing Norman Osbournehollywoodreporter.com/heat-vision/am…— Dave Scheidt (@DaveScheidt) February 27, 2013
Chris Cooper cast as Norman Osborne in Amazing Spider-Man 2?! Is this legit. That would be good casting— Erin Tarantino (@erincandy) February 27, 2013
Oooh, Chris Cooper to play Norman Osborn in THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN 2. Very interesting. Great actor IMO.— Dino Kos (@WolvieCBM) February 27, 2013
Norman is the father of Peter Parker buddy Harry Osborn, who is set to be played by the totally unfortunate looking Dane DeHaan.
Images from production on the new film have begun to leak out recently. Shailene Woodley, notably of The Descendants, has been spotted with red hair for her turn as Mary Jane Watson and set photos have emerged. An image of an altered costume for the web-slinger himself has also been released.