Of the many stars associated with the ever-growing number of superhero movies, few of them could boast about starring in movies from both DC and Marvel. However, Willem Dafoe memorably played the Green Goblin in the Spider-Man movies from the early 2000s and will now have a part in DC's Aquaman. Now that he's had experience with both Marvel and DC, the acclaimed actor has a few thoughts to share about what it was like to work for two biggest comic book publishers today.
The Best Of Both Worlds: Willem Dafoe On Working With Marvel And DC
After #WillemDafoe talked about his role as the Shinigami (or Death God) Ryuk in the #Netflix's remake of Death Note, Collider's Christina Radish asked him about his thoughts on superhero cinematic universes. Given that Dafoe worked in one of the biggest Marvel movies ever made before joining the DC Extended Universe (#DCEU), the actor has a unique insight into how the landscape of superhero movies has changed since he first got involved.
Howeer, Dafoe's response might not be what you'd expect. The actor responsible for Spider-Man's Norman Osborn a.k.a. the Green Goblin simply doesn't care for the details of these universes - choosing to focus on his character instead.
"I don’t see the universes. Of course, there are differences, but it’s project by project. I haven’t wrapped my brain around the difference. From the outside, maybe that’s interesting, but I’m dealing with a specific character and director. I’m not thinking so much about the selling, the business, the corporate stuff or the franchise stuff. I am very weak in thinking about those things. In some ways, I’m like a child. I only look for interesting things to do and interesting people to play with."
The man who will bring the Atlantean scholar Nuidis Vulko to life on the big screen in Aquaman then expounded on what he looks for in a potential role. Dafoe even compared #Aquaman director James Wan to Spider-Man director Sam Raimi, since both directors were clearly enthusiastic and passionate about their respective comic book adaptations.
"When I made 'Spider-Man' with Sam Raimi, one of the most impressive things was that it didn’t feel like an industry film. It felt like a personal film. It felt like Sam Raimi was getting to fulfill a fantasy of his. He was so connected to that 'Spider-Man' mythology that he really infused it with great love and great playfulness, and I love that."
"James Wan is very similar. The other thing about James Wan that’s so impressive, and I think you can see it in his movies, is that he’s very precise. He really knows exactly what he wants, which is particularly a great asset when you’re making a movie that’s so technologically complicated.... He gives you some things to play with and a good story."
Dafoe then ended his interview by emphasizing what he looks for when choosing a role. With the amount of dedication and passion Dafoe pours into his work, fans of the Aquaman comics are in for a treat when they finally get to see Dafoe's take on Vulko.
In a roundabout way, I’m saying that I shy away from things, if I feel like they’re a product, that they’re cynical, or that they’re just people making money or advancing their careers. I need a little love and passion. Call me a romantic!
Headlined by Jason Momoa as the titular king of Atlantis, Aquaman will hit cinemas on December 21, 2018 and give the titular hero his first solo-feature.
What do you think about Willem Dafoe's thoughts on the modern day superhero movie? Share your thoughts in the comments below.