One of the things that was readily apparent in last year’s Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse was that this property is perfectly suited to be a franchise with its own cinematic universe. Fortunately, Sony seems to agree, and a spinoff and sequel are now in development. Although the Spider-Verse franchise is just beginning, it seems that it may already have a big bad in the form of Olivia Octavius, a.k.a. Doctor Octopus.
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse co-director Rodney Rothman hinted at the character’s future in the franchise, saying:
In the end, we found the movie played fine without us tagging every single possible thing. But we definitely think of Liv as someone who is not gone from the story, and who in many ways, is our most powerful bad guy. She's manipulating a lot of things to achieve her own grand ambitions.
Based on his comments to Total Film (via Screen Rant), it seems that Rodney Rothman and the filmmakers of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse didn’t want to reference too much or do too much setting up for the future, but it is clear that Doc Ock is not gone and she may have a significant place in that future. The way he describes her as the most powerful bad guy implies that he sees her as a villain with serious potential in this franchise.
This is quite the turnaround considering that co-director Peter Ramsey previously said that there was a worry at one point (before Kathryn Hahn stepped into the recording booth) that Spider-Verse’s Doc Ock was going to be too goofy and quirky to seem like a real deadly threat that Miles and audiences should be concerned about.
Rodney Rothman’s comments about Liv evoke Thanos in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Although Miles Morales has already battled with her, the idea that she is still manipulating things behind the scenes, and pulling strings with her mechanical appendages to her own nefarious ends, is very reminiscent of the role Josh Brolin’s character played in The Infinity Saga. Over time we found out Thanos’ ambitions and what he was after, and finding out Liv’s will be something to watch for as this franchise continues.
In Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, Kingpin was the main villain, but the gender-swapped Doc Ock was perhaps the scariest foe Miles Morales encountered. Kathryn Hahn’s deliciously diabolical villain had a positively killer introduction where she went full mad scientist and wanted to watch Peter Parker disintegrate from being in the wrong dimension like Game of Thrones’ Qyburn wanting to keep a decapitated head for research.
Doc Ock is a formidable physical opponent in her own right, but it is her unhinged brilliance and mental game that will likely elevate her above the fray to become the franchise’s big bad. In Spider-Verse, she was the CEO and head scientist of Alchemax, and if she is really manipulating events, I could see that company playing a major role in future films.
We’ll keep you updated as Sony’s animated Spider-Verse develops, and check out our 2019 Release Schedule to see all the biggest movies heading your way in a jam-packed summer season.