Alfred Molina, even at the time, was an unlikely addition to the superhero movie ranks. It offered a chance to see what a celebrated actor could do in a role that really didn’t seem to be along his career arc, in a huge budget, comic book popcorn film. In many ways, the casting pushed forward new ideas about the genre, and his turn as Doctor Otto Octavius was groundbreaking in many ways. The actor is set to reprise the role soon in an upcoming movie and he gave some thoughts about the return and what it meant for the character all these years later. The interview was with Variety and it gave a number of different cool tidbits about Doc Ock coming back in Spider-Man: No Way Home.
For Alfred Molina to return to the character of Doctor Octopus there were so many different hurdles that had to be cleared besides just the movement of one actor/ character from one studio (Sony) to another (Marvel). Molina says that at first, the entire thing was a massive secret. But the cat is obviously out of the bag when it comes to this new flick and all the other folks from different iterations and universes who will be returning.
Then Alfred Molina does get into the nitty-gritty about the character and timeline around his return for the movie. Regarding how when we last left Doctor Octopus he was dead in the river after losing the battle over the fusion reactor with Spider-Man, Molina said he had the same curiosity. How could Octavius come back for a new movie if he was dead? To this, director John Watts told Molina, “In this universe, no one really dies.” This is something, as comic book movie fans, we tend to already know inherently. It’s what makes the genre mind-bending and fun. But we are rarely told it outright so it’s refreshing to hear right from the creators. There’s no confusion around life and death here because everything is just on the table.
Alfred Molina expanded more on the role and when the timeline would pick up for the next movie. Apparently, for Doctor Octopus it starts right where Spider-Man 2 left him off, dead in the river. Molina had issues here as well considering that the movie came out all the way back in 2004. The dude just doesn’t look the same now and he wasn’t exactly a spring chicken then.
This is where CGI and de-aging technology come in. Molina had this to say about how they could possibly make him look like anything resembling what he looked like in that movie, “He (Watts) just looked at me, and said, ‘Did you see what we did to Bob Downey Jr. and Sam Jackson?” In this, Alfred Molina is referencing the work done by Marvel for Downey’s Tony Stark in Civil War and Nic Fury in Captain Marvel, both of which had scenes (or entire movies) that were taken from years prior in terms of timeline.
And finally, Alfred Molina addressed the obvious concerns about how a 68-year-old could hold up in fighting scenes for what was sure to be an action-packed next film. To this, he had a hilarious answer saying that most of his work is done by just staring at the screen and the special effects of the octopus arms do the rest for him. The dude is nothing if not honest about what he’s bringing (or not bringing) to the screen. Spider-Man: No Way Home is set to be a massive event bringing back all kinds of characters from previous movies, Alfred Molina included.