Watch: The Original Green Goblin Mask Was a Terrifyingly Awesome Work of Practical Effects Magic
Sam Raimi's horror roots truly shine through in these early screen tests.
Spider-Man returned to the silver screen last Friday for the sixth time in 15 years, with many critics proclaiming it the best second reboot ever rebooted. In the wake of its $113 million dollar weekend, Peter Parker fans were also treated to some incredible test footage from Sam Raimi's original Spider-Man, offering featuring some insight into the development of William Dafoe's Green Goblin mask.
"The facial expressions they achieved using animatronics are truly stunning."
In the final version of the film, the goblin wears a suit made of armor, and the mask remains immobile, relying on Dafoe's (albeit very good) performance to instill fear into the heart of his audience. This was a choice that many die-hard Spidey fans took issue with, as it deviated from the villain's looks in the original comics. It seems, however, that this costume was not the only version Raimi was considering for his antagonist. In fact, there was a point where the goblin wasn't wearing a mask at all.
The first test reveals that Raimi reached out to a VFX company called Amalgamated Dynamics, Inc. to design a prototype mask that was much more in the vein of something like, say, The Evil Dead. The facial expressions they achieved using animatronics are truly stunning in terms of how they demonstrate emotion—not to mention that the movement of the Goblin's face is creepy as all hell. Even the mask's creators marveled at how horrifying the final product was.
Of course, we think that these practical effects are awesome. In a blockbuster landscape that would go on to be dominated by CGI, the Green Goblin's practical mask alone would have catapulted Raimi's original Spiderman to the top of the list of most unique comic book movies ever made.
The Hollywood Reporter, which initially discovered the videos, speculated as to why the mask was scrapped: "The one drawback to the mask having all those moving pieces is that it looks like the shoulder-mounted rig is extremely uncomfortable to wear and took some time to apply. So it seems obvious why Dafoe got a mask that could just pop right off."