Spider-Man 3 star Zendaya has seemingly confirmed that Alfred Molina will indeed return as the villainous Doctor Octopus in the upcoming Marvel sequel. While appearing on Variety’s Actors on Actors, Zendaya describes Molina as being “so nice, by the way,” while discussing how it is always the nicest actors who end up playing the nastiest bad guys.
Connecting the dots, this sounds like near-enough confirmation that the actor will once again reprise the role of Doc Ock for Spider-Man 3 …somehow, and that Zendaya’s MJ will likely come face-to-face with him on screen.
Alfred Molina first played the role of scientist Otto Octavius who, through a tragic accident in his laboratory, becomes the supervillain Doctor Octopus way back in 2004’s seminal comic book sequel Spider-Man 2. His surprising return to the role was first reported towards the end of last year, and while the news was delivered by some very reputable sources, many have still found it somewhat hard to believe. Taking Zendaya at her word, we can now be confident that, not only will Molina be back as Doc Ock, but Spider-Man 3 will indeed be dealing with the multiverse.
This is something that fans have been speculation for some time, thanks to the giveaway title of upcoming Doctor Strange sequel, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige recently confirmed that several future MCU projects will tackle the multiverse, with the themes and ideas laid out in Doctor Strange 2 reaching far beyond the continuing adventures of the Sorcerer Supreme.
“The title of the next Doctor Strange movie is Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, so that is our biggest clue that that movie will embrace the Multiverse and the madness therein, very directly,” Feige said. “There are, as we always like to do, connections before and after that, which will remain to be seen and discovered. But it seemed appropriate that it would be Doctor Strange that takes that on in the most direct way.”
Of course, Alfred Molina’s Doc Ock is not the only character from a previous iteration of the franchise said to be returning, with Jamie Foxx’s Electro also reportedly locked in to make an appearance. There has also been rampant speculation for some time that both Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield will also feature in Spider-Man 3 as alternate versions of the beloved web-slinger. While the accuracy of these claims remains unknown, Feige has also hinted at these wild possibilities.
“I’ve read some things. I’m not sure I’ve read all things,” he said when discussing the sheer volume of online rumors. “The fun thing about online speculation when it comes to our stuff is how sometimes it couldn’t be more off the mark and sometimes it’s shockingly close, and that’s held true for the last few years. But saying which is which would take all the fun out of everything.”
Unfortunately, it will be some time before we see how all the pieces fit together. Originally, Spider-Man 3 was set for a release date of July 16, 2021, as part of the much-anticipated Phase 4 of the MCU. Due to the ongoing global circumstances, the entire Phase has been reshuffled, with Spider-Man 3 now scheduled to swing into UK and US cinemas on December 17, 2021. This comes to us courtesy of Variety.