THE GREEN GOBLIN YOU NEVER SAW
THE GOBLIN QUANDARY
When we started Spiderman in 2002, no plan was in place for how the Green Goblin should look. There was some great art by production artist James Lima and creature designer Miles Teves that showed a direction toward the classic early comic book style but director Sam Raimi was unconvinced.
THE GREEN GOBLIN MAKEUP TEST - DESIGN CONSIDERATIONS
Since we had started early enough before shooting was to begin, we were granted a little time and money to produce a prosthetic make-up version to consider.
In capturing the comic book style, we knew the large goggle-like eyes were going to be a problem. Since they were opaque, there would be no life in them and the thickness of the surrounding forehead would also eliminate expression that would make for a rather dead-looking face. We decided to mechanically articulate the brows via low relief radio-controlled servos that Dave Penikas would design and a separate puppeteer would operate. Sam didn’t think it was going to work, but there was only one way to tell.
SCULPTING THE GOBLIN
Alec and I art-directed Ryan Peterson to sculpt a very realistic-looking Goblin character, referencing early Spiderman art. Rather than mechanically reproduce the comic book version, Peterson took it several steps farther to make it a very organic creature character. The large eyes were still a challenge. To be safe and cover our bases, Peterson also sculpted a more streamlined version that would rely on the actor’s eyes showing and his brow movement reading through. If the animatronic version was a bust, we wanted to have something to show Raimi that would be a solution.
THE GREEN GOBLIN MAKEUP APPLIANCE
Ryan delivered as always and once the sculpture was molded, we created vacuform eye shells and a foam latex test skin as well as a killer set of acrylic teeth. Although the final appliance would be silicone, foam latex gave us something more easily handled to work out the mechanics and serve as a paint test. I would wear the prosthetic for the test to help evaluate what worked and what didn’t from the performer’s perspective.
A fiberglass shell was the structure for the forehead and brows that was strapped to my forehead. The eye shells were able to clip in and come out to allow better vision in-between shooting. Mike Larabee painted the final silicone appliances in a more pale yellow-green tone than our first test.
THE MAKEUP TEST - A HUGE SUCCESS, BUT...
Barry Koper applied the make-up for the test and Alec puppeteered the brows while Sam ran us through some action on film. Immediately afterwards came his bittersweet evaluation: “Well guys, you did it,” he told us. “You convinced me. Well done.”
RAIMI KILLS THE GOBLIN
Unfortunately Raimi went on to tell us that he didn’t think he could successfully get the audience to believe a Goblin mask would come to life like that when slipped on a person’s face.
That's why we’re glad to have our own Youtube channel to be able to show the work like this that otherwise gets lost in the shuffle. Check things out and subscribe to see new material as it gets posted! Thanks to Matt and the SWSCA!
-Tom Woodruff, Jr. & Alec Gillis, co-founders of Amalgamated Dynamics, Inc.