- The Marvels‘ Valkyrie cameo teases the possibility of Marvel’s Siege being adapted in Thor 5, potentially introducing the MCU’s Norman Osborn.
- New Asgard’s status as an alien haven on Earth could lead to a conflict in Thor 5 similar to the one Norman Osborn caused in the comics, where he targeted extraterrestrial refugees when he attacked Asgard.
- The MCU’s Siege adaptation could explore Norman Osbron beyond the Green Goblin, which would allow actors to do something different to what Willem Dafoe accomplished with the character.
The Marvels‘ nod to a famous Marvel Comics storyline teases the MCU’s Norman Osborn potentially starring in Thor 5. The Marvel Cinematic Universe is a behemoth of a franchise, filled with hundreds of characters and multiple parallel storylines. While most upcoming MCU movies and shows are building up to Avengers: The Kang Dynasty and Avengers: Secret Wars, some of them are also setting up other stories and comic book adaptations that give certain MCU characters their time in the spotlight. For instance, The Marvels‘ ending scene sets up the Young Avengers, and multiple Phase 4 and 5 movies and shows teased the titular team’s first mission together in 2025’s Thunderbolts.
Some MCU set-ups have been more subtle. For instance, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings‘ post-credits scene set up the Ten Rings’ mysterious extraterrestrial origin, which Captain Marvel somehow didn’t acknowledge in The Marvels despite her encounter with the suspiciously similar Quantum Bands. What The Marvels does touch upon outside its main plot, however, is New Asgard’s new status as an alien haven on Earth. Valkyrie’s cameo in The Marvels may seem like a simple cameo, but her scene could bring drastic changes to the MCU in the future, and perhaps set up a live-action adaptation of a historic Marvel Comics storyline in the MCU’s eventual Thor 5.
The Marvels Sets Up Thor 5’s Siege Storyline
In The Marvels, Captain Marvel and her two new superhero allies Monica Rambeau and Kamala Khan rescue Tarnax inhabitants who survived Dar-Benn’s attack. Fortunately for the aliens, Valkyrie is open to receiving them in New Asgard, as the Asgardians went through a similar experience after Asgard’s destruction and Thanos’ attack on the remaining Asgardian survivors. But as convenient as New Asgard is for alien refugees from all over the universe, Valkyrie’s decision may spell doom for her kingdom in the future, as Secret Invasion‘s final episode featured U.S. President Ritson declaring war on every alien on Earth. This aligns perfectly with what happened with New Asgard in the source material.
The events of Marvel Comics’ Secret Invasion storyline caused massive distrust from humans towards alien lifeforms on Earth, as the Skrulls infiltrated human society and impersonated multiple superheroes. Fortunately, the Skrull threat was neutralized, and defense systems against shapeshifting invaders were put in place. However, Secret Invasion‘s conflict led to a shakeup in the public perception of superheroes, which allowed villains to claim positions of power and use them for their own selfish gain. Most notably, Norman Osborn took over SHIELD and transformed it into the shady organization HAMMER, created the Dark Avengers, and targeted extraterrestrial refugees on New Asgard, the latter of which could become Thor 5‘s main conflict.
Following the chain reaction caused by Secret Invasion and Dark Reign, Marvel Comics’ 2010 storyline Siege saw Norman Osborn launch an attack on New Asgard with the help of the Cabal — a supervillain team composed of Osborn, Doctor Doom, Loki, Taskmaster, and the Hood. With his power and influences, Osborn blamed a tragedy on the Asgardians to justify his attack, manipulating Sentry to ravage New Asgard. Ultimately, the Avengers managed to stop and expose Norman Osborn, but not before he unleashed chaos on Earth. Although the MCU’s Siege adaptation would have to change several elements, the MCU’s Secret Invasion already laid the foundations for Siege, and The Marvels reinforced them.
The MCU Needs Norman Osborn For A Proper Siege Event
It’s common for Marvel Studios to adapt comic book storylines with different characters. For example, Adam Warlock and Death were absent from Avengers: Infinity War despite their essential role in Marvel Comics’ Infinity Gauntlet storyline. Still, an MCU Siege adaptation would benefit greatly from having Norman Osborn as its main villain. Not only did Norman Osborn have a huge part of the Marvel Universe in a chokehold for a time, but he also went from being the Green Goblin to being known as one of the world’s saviors after Secret Invasion, then as an Avenger-like superhero as Iron Patriot during Dark Reign, and finally as a master manipulator in Siege.
Bringing Norman Osborn for an MCU Siege adaptation would also allow Marvel Studios to explore aspects of the character that none of the previous Spider-Man movies have been able to discover, as Norman Osborn has only been synonymous with the Green Goblin on the big screen. With the MCU’s vast interconnectivity and lore at its disposal, the MCU’s Siege adaptation has the chance to develop Norman Osborn beyond his famous supervillain identity: as a hero, an evil mastermind, and a man of the people — all at the same time. Norman Osborn’s dynamics with other Marvel characters would also break the mold after multiple appearances where his only enemy is Spider-Man.
Who Could Play Norman Osborn In The MCU?
The MCU already had its Norman Osborn with Willem Dafoe’s return as Green Goblin in Spider-Man: No Way Home. But as exciting as his multiversal trip to the MCU may have been, Dafoe’s Norman Osborn didn’t become a proper MCU character. Thanks to the multiverse, it’s possible that an MCU-native Norman Osborn already exists somewhere out there, and that he looks and behaves quite differently from the one from Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man universe. Although Willem Dafoe is open to return as Norman Osborn in a future Marvel movie, the villain could be played by a different actor in the MCU, either for a future Spider-Man movie or a Siege adaptation.
Willem Dafoe set a high bar, but other actors could also deliver a solid performance as Norman Osborn. The villain could be played by actors who have demonstrated a special talent for playing villains, like Breaking Bad stars Bryan Cranston and Giancarlo Esposito, Man of Steel actor Michael Shannon, and Harry Potter actor Jason Isaacs. Big names such as Denzel Washington and Gary Oldman would be more than prepared for the role, and slightly younger options like Dexter‘s Michael C. Hall and Ozark‘s Jason Bateman could be welcome choices. Otherwise, an unknown actor could rise to fame by making the MCU villain role his own in Thor 5‘s Siege storyline.