Spider-Man 3: Willem Dafoe And Thomas Haden Church Negotiating A Return in Mind-Blowing Sequel: Exclusive

The cast of Spider-Man 3 continues to grow as two former supervillains look to make their return.
Willem Dafoe Spider-Man 3

The cast of Spider-Man 3 continues to grow as two former supervillains look to make their return.

Last week Disney shook up the superhero world with their onslaught of new content coming to homes via their Disney+ streaming service. New series like What If…? and Loki gave audiences their first in-depth looks at the shows, while other shows like WandaVision and The Falcon and the Winter Soldier continued to excite fans.

Even with that embarrassment of riches, there’s still a lot more to come on the theatrical side as well. No project better exemplifies the ambitious approach that Marvel Studios is taking in Phase 4 more than with the eagerly anticipated and untitled, Spider-Man 3.


Over the past few weeks the Spider-Man 3 production has continued to amaze onlookers with their ambitious cast that includes characters from every cinematic incarnation of the Web Crawler. Tobey Maguire has already been spotted reporting for duty, while other outlets have confirmed that Andrew Garfield is back for another spin on the character as well. We’ve reported on Alfred Molina and Jamie Foxx among other big names making returns in their villainous roles.

Green Goblin and Sandman Pursued For Spider-Man 3

While the news of talented actors like Molina and Foxx returning have set the table and expectations for Spider-Man 3, there are still other important villains that have played an even more crucial role in Peter Parker’s journey.

Willem Dafoe Spider-Man 3

Previously Fandom Wire reported that the Green Goblin character is intended to return in the sequel. It seems that they were on to something, as Willem Dafoe and Thomas Hayden Church are both attached to return to the project as well. According to our source, their deals are still being finalized, but they are indeed a part of the Spider-Man 3 masterplan. Unfortunately, we were unable to get any info on the size of their appearances, however judging by the size of the cast, it’s hard to imagine them being huge.

Willem Dafoe (The Lighthouse) played the original Norman Osborn, and Green Goblin, in Sam Raimi’s 2002 blockbuster Spider-Man. in that film, he was both a father figure and first major supervillain that Tobey Maguire’s Spider-Man faced. Dafoe’s duplicitous performance far outshined the cartoony design of his Green Goblin suit and his schizophrenic monologue into a mirror is still remembered to this day.

Thomas Haden Church (The Peanut Butter Falcon) appeared in 2008’s Spider-Man 3, as the hapless criminal Flint Marko, who would go on to become the Sandman. The sand-based enemy was defeated as well in that film, however the villain is one of the more memorable opponents in Spider-Man’s vast comic book rogue’s gallery. Additionally, the Sandman’s powerset, if used in the sequel, offers a fun visual and an unique gimmick for screenwriters.


Much like with Jamie Foxx’s Electro, Spider-Man 3 offers an unique opportunity to not only bring back world-class actors and fan-favorite characters from the comics, but also to redesign and reimagine these villains. Perhaps we could even get to see the original design for the Green Goblin that never made it to set. It’s unclear what direction director Jon Watts and studio head Kevin Feige will be taking with the new film, but the possibilities continue to grow along with MCU fans’ excitement.

Original Green Goblin design Spider-Man 2002 Spider-Man 3
Original Green Goblin design for Spider-Man (2002)

What do you think about Willem Dafoe and Thomas Hayden Church negotiating for a Spider-Man 3 return? How in the world will this all fit into one story? Let us know your theories in the comment section below or over on our Twitter!



Braxter Timberlake

Braxter Timberlake

Braxter Timberlake was born in New York and raised in California. He’s a graduate of UC Berkeley and the School of Hard Knocks and is always in search of the next adventure. The daring writer and editor of The Illuminerdi is also a veteran of film and television production, with an unquenchable thirst for stories, whether on the comic page, video game console, or small, medium, or the big screen. After years of expeditions in search of K’un-Lun and Wakanda, he now spends his time investigating all things geek and shares his spoilery findings with anyone with open ears. Aside from on the internet, he can be found on the basketball court, hiking with his dog, or at a screening near you.