Spider-Man 2’s Sam Raimi Reacts To Alfred Molina’s Doctor Octopus Returning In No Way Home

Alfred Molina as Doctor Octopus in Spider-Man: No Way Home

Two years after Tobey Maguire’s Peter Parker was pitted against Willem Dafoe’s Norman Osborn/Green Goblin, Spider-Man 2 saw the title Web-Slinger battle Alfred Molina’s Otto Octavius, a.k.a. Doctor Octopus. For years, we understandably assumed that this version of the supervillain’s story had been told in its entirety, but this winter, Spider-Man: No Way Home is bringing Molina’s Doc Ock back into play. The character showed up at the end of the first No Way Home trailer, and Sam Raimi, who directed the original Spider-Man trilogy, has reacted on Ock’s big return.

Sam Raimi is currently busy in a different corner of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, having been hired to direct Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness following Scott Derrickson’s exit from the position. But while speaking with SYFY Wire about Netflix’s Nightbooks, which he produced, Raimi shared how glad he is to see Alfred Molina’s Doctor Octopus back in action nearly two decades after Spider-Man 2’s release. In Raimi’s words:

That was beautiful. He looks great, the animation’s great. I’m assuming it’s not puppeted because when we did Doc Ock, we had puppets and animation for his octopus tentacles. But it was smooth and powerful and I loved his costume they kept [from the original]. I think it’s gonna be a great movie.

While Sam Raimi currently holds the keys to the Doctor Strange kingdom in the MCU, like the rest of us, he’ll be enjoying Spider-Man: No Way Home simply as a viewer. That said, I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s been informed about some details being kept from the general public given that both No Way Home and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness involve other realities. More importantly, Benedict Cumberbatch is reprising Strange in the next Spider-Man movie, with Tom Holland’s Peter Parker asking the sorcerer to magically make the public forget he’s Spidey, only for something to go wrong with the spell, resulting in the multiverse being opened up.

Still, it must be nice for Sam Raimi to see someone he cast back in the early 2000s also jump back into the Marvel world. The filmmaker selected Alfred Molina to play Doctor Octopus in Spider-Man 2 after being impressed by his performance in Frida and feeling the actor was the right size to play the character. Molina’s turn as Doc Ock was among Spider-Man 2’s many praised elements upon hitting theaters on June 30, 2004.

Back in April, four months after it was first reported that Alfred Molina would reprise Doctor Octopus in Spider-Man: No Way Home, the actor confirmed his involvement in the threequel and revealed that he’ll be digitally de-aged to look the same way he did during Spider-Man 2’s shoot. So far the only other villain from elsewhere in the Marvel multiverse who’s officially confirmed to appear in No Way Home is Jamie Foxx’s Electro, who first appeared in 2014’s The Amazing Spider-Man 2. However, the presence of a familiar pumpkin bomb in the No Way Home trailer indicates that we’ll also reunite with Willem Dafoe’s Green Goblin, so no doubt Sam Raimi will be pleased with that too.

The full Spider-Man: No Way Home Picture will be revealed when the movie arrives on December 17, and Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness will follow on March 25, 2022. Our upcoming Marvel movies guide is available to those of you curious about what else this superhero franchise is sending to theaters.

Adam Holmes
Senior Content Producer

Connoisseur of Marvel, DC, Star Wars, John Wick, MonsterVerse and Doctor Who lore. He's aware he looks like Harry Potter and Clark Kent.