ROGUE REPORT: James Franco’s Harry Osborn

by Ryan Rigley

Big news for “The Amazing Spider-Man 2” last week as it was announced that the highly-anticipated sequel will be featuring several popular Spider-Man characters, including the likes of Mary Jane Watson, Harry Osborn, and even Electro. Yet while the role of Mary Jane already has someone attached, actress Shailene Woodley, the roles of both Max Dillon and Harry Osborn have yet to be filled.

As you all well know, Harry Osborn most recently made an appearance in Sam Raimi’s “Spider-Man” trilogy as portrayed by the one and only James Franco. There’s no doubt that Franco’s take on Harry Osborn perfectly portrayed the character’s descent into madness. But how does he stack up against his comic book counterpart? Click past the jump to find out!

What Worked: When we first meet Franco’s Harry Osborn in “Spider-Man,” he’s Peter Parker’s best high school friend. In the comics, Harry actually dislikes Peter initially due to the fact that Gwen Stacy is infatuated with him. However, that whole conflict resolves itself once Harry and Peter sit down and talk to each other. Eventually, the two become such great friends that they move into an apartment together. Just like in the movie! Franco does a terrific job of portraying Harry Osborn as both Peter Parker’s closest friend and the neglected son of Norman Osborn.

What Needed Work: In “Spider-Man 3,” we get to see Harry Osborn’s transformation into the new Green Goblin. Sort of. In the comics, Harry takes to dressing up in the exact same Goblin costume as his dead father once wore; which proves to be extremely troubling for Spider-Man, who believes Harry to be his most trusted friend. However, in the film, Franco’s Harry Osborn takes to wearing a new, less goblin-y version of his father’s costume. In fact, Franco’s Green Goblin costume isn’t goblin-y at all; he just kind of looks like he’s about to go play some paintball. Wouldn’t it have been way more troubling for Spider-Man, and the people of Manhattan, if Harry wore his father’s old Goblin suit, making it appear as though Norman Osborn were back from the dead?

What Was New & Interesting: “Spider-Man 2″ re-introduces Harry Osborn as the head of his father’s company, Oscorp. At this point, he’s already pretty convinced that Spider-Man has murdered his father and will do basically anything to exact his revenge; even allying himself with the nefarious Doctor Octopus. When Harry finally unmasks Spider-Man, he is shocked to discover that the man who supposedly killed his father is also his best friend, Peter Parker. This reveal is way more dramatic than how it plays out in the comic books; eagerly unmasking his greatest foe as opposed to finding a spare Spider-Man costume in Peter Parker’s closet.

The Rogue Report looks at comic book movie villains past, present and future to see how they handled the transition from the paneled page to the big screen. Suggest a villain for our next column in the comments or on Twitter!