The Sinister Six are a part of Spider-Man’s rogue gallery, rather it is a group name used to represent the combined force of the rogue gallery. The group normally consists of Doctor Octopus, Vulture, Electro, Mysterio, Sandman, and Kraven the Hunter. Members have changed over the years but this group name has been a thorn in the side of Spider-Man for a very long time. They have captured spidey numerous times and also battled the hero with overwhelming force. Spidey has even come close to death in these encounters at various points in the comics. But why am I telling you about a rogue group? Because with the advent of the Spiderverse it is possible that we will get a look at the multiverse versions of these and other villains of the Marvel Spiderverse. But we can never forget about the Green Goblin.
Another familiar name that has been tied to Spider-Man: Homecoming 3 is Willem Dafoe, who played Norman Osborn, aka Green Goblin, in the Raimi trilogy. The rumors about him returning have yet to be confirmed, but The GWW reports Dafoe is in the film. The outlet – which was the first place to report Alfred Molina’s return as Doc Ock – states that Dafoe has officially started filming scenes for the movie. The Illuminerdi initially reported Dafoe’s return for Spider-Man 3. So far, there have been no set photos to confirm this.
Thus far, the MCU adaptation of Spider-Man’s story hasn’t included Norman Osborn or any other iteration of the Green Goblin, who is commonly regarded as the wallcrawler’s greatest adversary in Marvel Comics. However, it’s possible that Marvel is getting closer to using some version of the character. The Hobgoblin, which is closely related to the Green Goblin, is heavily rumored to appear in Spider-Man 3, which is scheduled to release in theaters at the end of the year.
Details regarding Spider-Man 3 point to Ned Leeds (Jacob Batalon) becoming Hobgoblin in the movie. In the 1980s comics, Ned wore the Hobgoblin costume. Viral marketing for Spider-Man 3 included artwork of Ned with the Hobgoblin’s orange cap, seemingly as a tease of him transforming into the character. Also, Batalon losing a great deal of weight (presumably for the movie) has created speculation that the character will be taking on a more action-oriented role in the new film. Plus, the existence of different timelines and worlds in the multiverse will certainly make it relatively easy for Marvel to introduce a new version of Ned and make him into the Hobgoblin. In fact, the MCU’s Hobgoblin could turn out to be the successor of the first live-action Green Goblin.
Introduced in The Amazing Spider-Man #238, the Hobgoblin served as a major antagonist of Spider-Man during the 1980s. He was eventually revealed to be the supervillain alter ego of Betty Brant’s journalist husband, Ned Leeds. However, a 1997 retcon confirmed that Ned wasn’t the real Hobgoblin. The villain pulling the strings was actually Roderick Kingsley, a former boss of Mary Jane Watson. Apparently, Kingsley was a crime boss who was tipped off about the location of Norman Osborn’s secret hideout, where he stashed all of his Green Goblin gear. At this point in time, Osborn had been dead for years, and there were no villains currently using the Green Goblin name. Kingsley acquired the pumpkin bombs and Goblin Glider and created an offshoot of the Green Goblin identity: the Hobgoblin. Hobgoblin then established his own hideout, only for it to be found by Ned. As a result, Kingsley kidnapped him and brainwashed him into believing the lie that he was the real Hobgoblin. Unfortunately, Ned died years before the truth about what Kingsley did was finally exposed.
Instead of creating a new timeline for Ned Leeds’ Hobgoblin to originate from, Spider-Man 3 can utilize an existing one that will be incorporated into the film anyway. The inclusion of so many actors from both of the previous Spider-Man franchise indicates that Marvel will indeed be making the events and characters from these films MCU canon by basing them in parallel universes. It appears that one of these universes will be the home of Tobey Maguire’s Spider-Man. It’s possible that it’s this world where fans will meet the Hobgoblin. While some may feel that Jacob Batalon’s Ned wouldn’t work in that timeline since it’s totally different from the MCU’s Spider-Man: Far From Home, made it plausible with its surprise J. Jonah Jameson cameo.
Unless the movie is using a timeline where he doesn’t die, it may be that his role will be limited to flashbacks. If so, their purpose could be to set up Ned’s Hobgoblin arc. It could be discovered in the movie that Norman Osborn had a different Green Goblin stash hidden somewhere, just in case his main hideout was ever discovered.
Depending on how he’s implemented in the story and what Marvel does with Ned, the shadow of Willem Dafoe’s character can loom over Spider-Man 3 throughout the story, similar to the presence he had in the last two installments in Raimi’s trilogy.