No Proto-Goblin in Spider-Man Reboot?
02.08.11 by Ryan
Since Indian actor Irrfan Khan was added to the cast of Sony-Columbia's Spider-Man reboot last December in the role of villainous character Van Atter, speculation has followed, as outlets try to solve the mystery of who, or what, Van Atter is.
Shortly after the casting was announced, reports had Khan in the role of obscure comic book character "Nels Van Adder," who appeared once in 1997's Peter Parker, Spider-Man #1 and is referred to as the "Proto-Goblin." In the comic, "Van Adder" is a research assistant who becomes a test subject for Norman Osborn, the eventual Green Goblin. In the reboot, however, Rhys Ifans is supposedly set to star as Dr. Curt Conners, aka the Lizard. Khan was no help at the time, revealing that he thought his role "was not in the comics or perhaps a minor character," which simultaneously refutes the Proto-Goblin claim while also supporting it.
In a recent interview with Indian Express, Khan seemingly punched even more holes in the Proto-Goblin theory when he explained why he wasn't initially interested in joining Spider-Man.
I didn't want to be part of this violent American fantasy. But both my sons were excited and kept insisting that I take it up.
Khan did have a condition he relayed to director Marc Webb — that he "didn't want to be a masked villain or become another creature" in the movie, which many outlets have interpreted to mean that there will be absolutely no Proto-Goblin in the movie. However, considering that Proto-Goblin's appearance in Spider-Man is nothing more than a theory (even Ifans as the Lizard has yet to be officially confirmed), anything is possible.
Furthermore, Khan isn't the only actor in the Spider-Man reboot to be cast in an unspecified role. C. Thomas Howell was cast in a role known only as "Ray" last month, with no further details about who the character is. Howell recently told the Dallas-Fort Worth Tribune that he has sworn to secrecy about the role.
I had to sign, basically, a bible about not expressing anything, not talking about details. It's understandable they want to keep things secret. There's so much money in it. It's so hard keeping the iPhone out of my pocket on the set, when I want to take photos left and right. The other night, we were on the back lot of Universal, and they had it dressed up to be downtown New York, with steam coming up out of the ground and cabs crowding the street. You'd never have guessed you weren't in New York City. I felt like a kid in the ultimate playground.
All Howell could reveal about his role was that it was "not a major role, but it is a poignant, important role."
Let the speculation continue.