Spider-Man: No way home is officially in theaters and yeah – it really has all of those villains from the trailer. Green Goblin, Doc Ock, Electro, the Lizard and Sandman are back, and the actors who played them in the first two Spider-Man films have even returned to repeat their roles.
So let’s take a tour of the cinematic spider villain story – after all, it’s been a long time since the Green Leprechaun growled on screens for the first time since Doc Ock waved his first tentacle and since the lizard tried to turn everyone in New York City into a reptile.
The Green Goblin (Willem Dafoe) from Spider Man (2002)
In 2002, Sam Raimi released his highly anticipated Spider-Man film, starring Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst, James Franco and of course Willem Dafoe. Dafoe brought one of the most famous villains from Spider-Man’s villain gallery to the screen, the Green Goblin. In Raimi’s film, Norman Osborn was the head of a huge corporation, Oscorp, and the father of Peter’s best friend Harry. Norman often ignores his son Harry in favor of Peter seeing himself in – as he says, both he and Peter are “something of a scientist”.
We quickly find out that Oscorp is on the verge of bankruptcy and the only way out is to secure a highly lucrative U.S. military contract for a performance-enhancing serum. Unfortunately, the serum causes some subjects to go insane, and under threat of getting it working or breaking the contract, Osborn tests it on himself. While the serum increases his strength and agility, it breaks Norman’s identity into Norman, a cutthroat businessman who looks after his son and legacy, and the Green Goblin who instantly murders the Oscorp scientist he forced to help him with his serum procedure.
Norman’s transformation doesn’t change his appearance drastically. Instead, Dafoe wears a costume and a mask when he appears as the Green Leprechaun, his fearsome mask becomes a symbol of the Leprechaun personality for Norman. At first, Norman doesn’t seem to know what he’s doing as a goblin, but once he does – after an iconic Willem Dafoe conversation with the Willem Dafoe scene – He leans in all the way. After Spider-Man refuses to join him, Goblin attacks everyone in Peter Parker’s life from Mary Jane to dear old Aunt May. Eventually, in an attempt to murder Spider-Man, he is accidentally impaled with his own technique.
Doctor Octopus (Alfred Molina) by Spider-Man 2 (2004)
Widely referred to as one of the best Spider-Man movies of all time, Spider-Man 2 introduced Doctor Otto Octavius, played by Alfred Molina, to the audience. Otto was a nuclear scientist who worked for Oscorp (under Harry Osborn) trying to develop fusion energy. Octavius had also taken Peter under his wing as a mentor, and so both Peter and Harry were dangerous at a demonstration by Otto, where he wore a harness made of AI-controlled robotic tentacles that he had invented to help him Manipulate substances.
Unfortunately the demonstration went wrong and killed Otto’s wife and Caused critical damage to the inhibitor chip on his arms – and gave the AI program that controlled the tentacles full access to his nervous system. And surprise! This program loves Murder. When doctors tried to remove the arms of an unconscious Octavius, the AI-controlled arms butchered them all in this iconic scene.
When Otto woke up, he was on the run – and inspired the Bugle to call him Doctor Octopus. As the AI gained more control and influence over his nervous system, Doc Ock became convinced he had to repeat the experiment, which brought him back to Harry Osborn. Oscorp was the only source of radioactive isotope necessary for Otto’s work, and Harry agreed to give it up if Otto eliminated Spider-Man, whom he blames for his father’s death.
After information from Harry that Peter Parker is the key to the search for Spider-Man, Otto kidnaps Mary Jane and starts a fight that leads to another iconic Spider-Man scene
Sandman (Thomas Haden Church) Spider-Man 3 (2007)
To say there is one is an understatement a lot continues in Spider-Man 3. One of three villains in this film, Sandman, aka Flint Marko – played by Thomas Haden Church – shows up fairly early in the film. He had just escaped from prison to get money for his family and fell into a particle accelerator while trying to escape the police. Do not ask.
Naturally, the accelerator turned and merged Marko’s body with the sand lying on the ground, turning him into Sandman, a man with the ability to transform into various shapes of sand and absorb huge amounts of sand to be a big sand … Husband. Again there is one a lot continues in Spider-Man 3, but eventually Marko teams up with Venom (Eddie Brock, played by Topher Grace) to get rid of Spider-Man.
Together they fought on a construction site full of sand against Spider-Man and Harry Osborn, who wore his father’s goblin armor, in which Marko is fatally wounded and dissolves in the wind in sand.
Lizard (Rhys Ifans) from Amazing Spider-Man (2012)
Amazing Spider-Man is Andrew Garfield’s first appearance as Peter Parker, and Sony picked Dr. Curt Connors, aka Lizard, played by Rhys Ifans. At the beginning of the film, Peter found out that his father, Richard Parker, had worked with biologist Connors on the field of cross-species genetics. He eventually goes to Connors and speaks to him directly to start a mentorship between the two.
Connors is a decent man at first. He is delighted when Peter gives him Richard’s missing piece of formula so that Connors can begin his experiments on limb regeneration – a problem that is at home for him since he is missing an arm. Unfortunately, the formula’s success in animal testing results in Connors’s boss pressuring him to hurry up with human tests to find a cure for the dying Norman Osborn. Connors refuses and is subsequently fired by Oscorp.
Instead, he successfully tests the formula on himself and regenerates his arm. But then he finds out that his ruthless Oscorp boss is trying to test the formula on disagreed veterans. When Connors confronts the man, the side effects of his work become clear: His lizard DNA healing turns him more into a lizard man with scales, claws, a tail and an unstoppable lizard rage. Spider-Man showed up to deal with the lizard rampage, and Connors fled into the sewers – but was already obsessed with the idea that his new form represented biological perfection. Lizard DNA will apparently do this to you.
Various Spidey on Lizard battles continue, but eventually Connors starts his final turn: a chemical bomb that will turn all of New York into lizards, just like him. Spider-Man manages to dispel a lizard antidote before sliding off the top of a building. With the last waning lizard power, Connors saved Spidey’s life and turned himself in. Amazing Spider-Man ended up with Connors in a mental hospital, suggesting that something of the lizard was still inside him.
Elektro (Jamie Foxx) by Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014)
In contrast to its comic book counterpart, Maxwell Dhillon from TASM2 is meek and mumbling, painted as a kind of loser. So when he has a chance encounter with a friendly Spider-Man, it triggers an obsession. He thinks they’re friends.
Later, at work, Max was doing some maintenance when he fell into a tank of genetically modified electric eels and turned it into Electro, a super villain that can absorb and conduct electricity. Like many Spider-Man movie villains, Max becomes embroiled in the intrigues of one of the Osborns (Harry, this time) and is ultimately defeated by Spider-Man and Gwen Stacy when they overload him with force, causing him to explode.