Report: Alfred Molina To Return As Doctor Octopus In Spider-Man 3
When Spider-Man hit theaters in 2002, the comic book movie boom remained in its infancy. The first X-men movie was a hit, but it was up to Sam Raimi and Tobey Maquire’s Spider-Man to make it more than a fluke. Still, Serious Movie People™ remained skeptical about the longterm viability of these films. Yet, when Spider-Man 2 hit theaters, people began to understand that these movies were more than just “amusement park rides” (well, most people, anyway). One of the key reasons behind that was the villain in the Spidey sequel, and modern audiences are going to get see him in action again. A new report says that Alfred Molina will return as Doctor Octopus in Spider-Man 3, currently filming in Atlanta, Georgia.
While this news alone is exciting, it elevates the anticipation for this film based on earlier casting news. Jamie Foxx, who played Electro in Amazing Spider-Man 2, will reprise his role, as we reported in October. While that sequel is perhaps the most maligned Spider-Movie, Foxx’s portrayal of Max Dillon was not one of the reasons for that. Also, given his appearance in the Netflix film Project Power this year, it’s clear these sort of big, action roles are still very much in the singer and actor’s wheelhouse. (He’s also the lead in the next Pixar movie, Soul.) So, it seems that the as-yet untitled Spider-Man 3 will be another “homecoming” of sorts for these Marvel villains.
What remains unclear is how these figures will fit into the film. We know that Benedict Cumberbatch will appear as Doctor Strange in this movie. The Sherlock actor is currently filming Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, directed by none other than Sam Raimi.
How Will Spider-Man 3 Use Doctor Octopus and Electro?
Image via Sony Pictures
Naturally, fans want to know as many details as they can about Alfred Molina and the return of his Doctor Octopus in Spider-Man 3. As this casting hasn’t been officially confirmed, we’ll probably have to wait to find out for sure. However, there are two prevailing theories, each of which have some circumstantial evidence to support them. The first theory is that this is part of Marvel’s embrace of the multiverse.
The new report today came from The Hollywood Reporter who acknowledges that GWW.com reported Molina’s presence on set in late November. Yet, our own Emily O’Donnell called it back in October when she speculated that Spider-Man 3 could set up a Sinister Six situation. The real question is if this is a multiverse situation or if these are just the MCU “versions” of these villains.
For the latter point, folks point to J.K. Simmons playing a different J. Jonah Jameson in Spider-Man: Far From Home. He looks and sounds like the JJJ from Raimi’s films but is clearly a different person. For the multiverse argument, people point to Into The Spider-Verse, which already fully embraced the multiverse concept. There is also the Doctor Strange sequel which mentions it in the name, and that Kevin Feige said the multiverse is the future of the MCU. It makes sense because, like DC and Warner Bros. did with Crisis on Infinite Earths, it means that characters can be recast while keeping the originals “canon.”
However they end up justifying the return of Alfred Molina to the role of Doctor Octopus, Spider-Man 3 looks to be maybe the biggest Spider-movie yet.
The Untitled Third Spider-Man movie from Sony and Marvel Studios is set to debut in theaters in December 2021.
What do you think? Share your thoughts, reactions, and theories about how they’ll use the characters in the comments below.
Featured image via Colombia Pictures.
Joshua M. Patton is a father, veteran, and writer living in Pittsburgh, PA. The first books he read on his own were comics, and he's loved the medium ever since. He is the greatest star-pilot in the galaxy, a cunning warrior, and a good friend. His book "What I Learned: Stories, Essays, and More" is available in print from Amazon and from all electronic booksellers.