It’s official: Alfred Molina returns as Doctor Octopus in Spider-Man: No Way Home


For months, we’ve heard that Tom Holland’s next Spider-Man, officially called No Way Home, was going to be full of interesting cameos. Jamie Foxx is coming back as Electro from the Amazing Spider-Man movies. We’ve heard rumbles about Andrew Garfield and maybe Tobey Maguire, former Spider-Man both, coming back. We’ve even heard about Charlie Cox reprising his role from Daredevil.

And we heard that Alfred Molina would be back as Doctor Octopus, the role in played opposite Maguire’s Spider-Man in 2004’s Spider-Man 2. Up until now, a lot of this has been understood but not officially confirmed, but Molina himself left no doubt when talking to Variety: “When we were shooting it, we were all under orders not to talk about it, because it was supposed to be some great big secret,” he laughed.” “But, you know, it’s all over the internet. I actually described myself as the worst kept secret in Hollywood!”

As for the filming itself, “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.”

But in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, aging is no problem. “[Director Jon Watts] just looked at me, and said, ‘Did you see what we did to Bob Downey Jr. and Sam Jackson?’” I certainly did.

And anyway, as Molina says, “it’s the tentacles that do all the work!”

How is Doctor Octopus (Alfred Molina) still alive after the end of Spider-Man 2?

And this will be Doctor Octopus as he was in Spider-Man 2; apparently the story will pick right after his “death” at the end of that movie, when he drowned his experimental fusion reactor in the East River lest it destroy all of New York City. “In this universe, no one really dies,” Watts told him.

Although we don’t know for sure, our best guess is that No Way Home will see Spider-Man visiting a bunch of alternate universes with different versions of himself and the villains he may or may not face in the future. In one universe, Doctor Octopus died at the end of Spider-Man 2. In the one Peter Parker visits in this movie, he didn’t. Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) will be a big part of the movie, which explains why they’re dealing with alternate realities in the first place.

Spider-Man: Far From Home is due out on December 17, 2021.

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