Spider-Man 3: Alfred Molina Reveals How His Doctor Octopus Fits Into No Way Home

Alfred Molina as Doctor Octopus in Spider-Man 2

Following in the footsteps of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, the next entry of Tom Holland’s Spider-Man film series, Spider-Man: No Way Home, is pulling in the multiverse. It was announced last year that Jamie Foxx and Alfred Molina will reprise their roles of Electro and Doctor Octopus, respectively; villains from previous Spider-Man film series. Now it’s been clarified that where Doc Ock is concerned, this is indeed the same version of the character we previously saw in 2004’s Spider-Man 2.

Alfred Molina confirmed his involvement in Spider-Man: No Way Home during an interview with Variety. Molina also noted that when he spoke with director Jon Watts, the filmmaker told him that Doc Ock’s story will continue from “that moment” in the river, i.e. when it looked like Ock was sinking to his death after stopping his fusion reactor from destroying New York City. When Molina pointed out that his character was supposed to have died in Spider-Man 2, Watts simply said, “In this universe, no one really dies.” Molina also said the following about how it feels to play Doctor Octopus again after all these years:

It was wonderful. It was very interesting going back after 17 years to play the same role, given that in the intervening years, I now have two chins, a wattle, crow’s feet and a slightly a slightly dodgy lower back.

Of course, it’s not like Spider-Man 2 came out just a few years ago or even during the early 2010s. Alfred Molina’s first Doctor Octopus outing happened 17 years ago, and Molina asked Jon Watts how they would deal with the fact that he looks noticeably older compared to when he was in Spider-Man 2. Watts simply noted how actors like Robert Downey Jr. and Samuel L. Jackson have been digitally de-aged in prior MCU movies, so the same technology will be utilized for Molina. The actor also amusingly noted that since “the tentacles do all the work,” his changed physicality wouldn’t be as much of an issue for Spider-Man: No Way Home.

Now that we know that the Doctor Octopus appearing in Spider-Man: Far From Home is the same one from Spider-Man 2, it’d be reasonable to infer that Jamie Foxx will be playing the same Electro from 2014’s The Amazing Spider-Man 2. Granted, that’s not confirmed yet, but even if it is, don’t expect him to look just like he did last time. Foxx already let slip that in No Way Home, his version of Electro won’t be blue. It’s also been rumored that Willem Dafoe will show up as Green Goblin, the first Spider-Man villain we ever watched unleash havoc in a cinematic setting.

Between all these villains, plus Doctor Strange showing up and even Charlie Cox rumored to be appearing as Matt Murdock, there’s a lot being packed into Spider-Man: No Way Home. Oh, and let’s not forget that Spider-Man: Far From Home ended with Peter Parker not only being framed for Mysterio’s death and the Elemental attack on London, but having his secret identity revealed to the world. So needless to say there’ll be a lot on Peter’s plate in the threequel, but even with all this information, no official No Way Home plot details have been revealed yet.

But if Spider-Man villains from past film series are appearing in Spider-Man: No Way Home, what about Spider-Men from other universes, i.e. Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield’s incarnations of Peter Parker? Well, it had indeed been rumored that the MCU’s Peter will team up with his older counterparts, but back in February, Tom Holland said the other Spider-Man actors will not appear in No Way Home. That being said, many fans suspect this is just a proverbial smokescreen, and Maguire and Garfield’s Spider-Men do somehow factor into the plot. If that’s officially confirmed, we here at CinemaBlend will let you know.

What is certain is that Spider-Man: No Way Home is currently slated to swing into theaters on December 17, 2021. As for what else the MCU has primed for theatrical release, you can find that information in our upcoming Marvel movies guide.

Adam Holmes
Senior Content Producer

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore, Adam is a Senior Content Producer at CinemaBlend. He started working for the site back in late 2014 writing exclusively comic book movie and TV-related articles, and along with branching out into other genres, he also made the jump to editing. Along with his writing and editing duties, as well as interviewing creative talent from time to time, he also oversees the assignment of movie-related features. He graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in Journalism, and he’s been sourced numerous times on Wikipedia. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.