It’s been something of an open secret that Alfred Molina has reprised his role of Doctor Octopus for SPIDER-MAN: NO WAY HOME, and as is typical with Marvel, there’s been little in way of official confirmation, but while speaking with Variety, Alfred Molina spilled the beans on his return in a big way.
“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,” Alfred Molina said. “But, you know, it’s all over the internet. I actually described myself as the worst kept secret in Hollywood!” Molina added that “it was wonderful” to return to Doctor Octopus nearly twenty years after he played the character, and revealed that his appearance in Spider-Man: No Way Home will pick up right from Doc Ock’s final moments in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 2 when he sinks into the East River. At first, Molina was naturally concerned about the passage of time, but director Jon Watts explained that they’ll be pulling out the ol’ digital de-aging trick that Marvel is becoming increasingly decent at. However, even with the decades stripped off his face, Molina was still concerned as he doesn’t “have the same physicality that I had 17 years ago” and pointed to Robert De Niro’s fight scene in The Irishman as an example, but at the end of the day, Molina remembered that “it’s the tentacles that do all the work!“
Spider-Man: No Way Home is shaping up to be something unique as it will be bursting the multiverse doors of the Marvel Cinematic Universe wide open. In addition to Tom Holland, Zendaya, Jacob Batalon, Marisa Tomei, Benedict Cumberbatch, and Alfred Molina, the Spider-Man sequel will also see Jamie Foxx returning as Electro and there have also been frequent rumblings that Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield would be reprising their Spider-Man roles as well. Spider-Man: No Way Home is currently slated for a December 17, 2021 release.