We all knew this was coming, we just didn't know when.
Norman Osborn was spoken of in hushed tones in Marc Webb's Amazing Spider-Man. He was the puppetmaster behind the film's mayhem (and probably the murderer of Peter Parker's parents), so we knew the franchise would get to him eventually. But given how focused on a trilogy Webb's movies seem to be, for all we knew they could have been waiting until the third film to actually trot him out. But no, Norman Osborn will be appearing, in the flesh, in The Amazing Spider-Man 2, and he'll be played by none other than Chris Cooper, the Academy Award-winning co-star of Adaptation, American Beauty and The Muppets.
Hollywood Reporter broke the news that Chris Cooper would be adding his name to The Amazing Spider-Man 2's already impressive cast of villains, which currently includes Jamie Foxx as Electro and Paul Giamatti as The Rhino. And heck, possibly even Venom, but that's just a rumor. With a set of bad guys as broad as this, we imagine it's pretty unlikely that Norman Osborn will actually "goblin out" in this particular sequel, at least until the very end as a potential cliffhanger. First, Webb has to establish Osborn as a character, delve into his relationship with his son Harry (played by Dane DeHaan), and give Electro and The Rhino room to breathe as villains, before whipping out the big gun, Spider-Man's arch-nemesis, The Green Goblin.
Chris Cooper takes over the role from Willem DaFoe, who played the villain in each of Sam Raimi's three original Spider-Man movies. He was also rumored to have been up for the role of Dr. Otto Octavius, aka "Doctor Octopus," in Sam Raimi's Spider-Man 2, a part that eventually went to Alfred Molina.
Some believed that veteran bad guy Colm Feore (The Chronicles of Riddick, Thor) had been secretly cast as Norman Osborn after his name was mysteriously added to the cast three weeks ago, but obviously this is not the case. We now have no idea who the heck he's playing. For all we know, they've added Razorback while they're at it. Or Bloodshed. Remember Bloodshed?
Nah, nobody remembers Bloodshed.
The Amazing Spider-Man 2 opens on April 18, 2014 (UK) and May 2, 2014 (USA).