Alfred Molina Replaced As Doctor Octopus In The MCU

By Britta DeVore | Updated

alfred molina spider-man villains doctor octopus

When Alfred Molina returned to the Marvel Cinematic Universe fold as Dr. Otto Octavius aka Doc Ock in 2021’s Spider-Man: No Way Home, audiences just about lost their minds. Now, two years later, Marvel Studios has confirmed that the role of the brainy scientist will be going to a different actor in an upcoming Disney+ animated series. Telling more of an origin story surrounding Peter Parker’s rise to Spidey-stardom, Spider-Man: Freshman Year will reintroduce a handful of familiar characters in a brand-new light. 

Alfred Molina will not voice Doctor Octopus in Disney+’s upcoming series, Spider-Man: Freshmen Year.

But, just like Alfred Molina’s Doc Ock, those familiar characters will all have different voices. Included in the lineup of villains who will challenge to bring down the world of Spider-Man will be Scorpion and Rhino, along with other more friendly acquaintances such as Harry Osborn and Aunt May.

According to a copyright listing dropped by Disney, Alfred Molina will be replaced by Hugh Dancy (Hannibal) as Doc Ock in the Spider-Man: Freshman Year series. The filing also spilled the beans on several other voice actors including Hudson Thames (I Think You Should Leave with Tim Robinson) as Peter Parker, Grace Song (Life Itself) as Nico Minoru, Eugene Byrd (Bones) as Lonnie Lincoln, Zeno Robinson (The Owl House) as Harry Osborn, and Kari Wahlgren (Rick and Morty) as Aunt May.

hannibal mads mikkelsen
Hugh Dancy (right) in Hannibal

So far, it isn’t clear exactly how much will change about Doc Ock’s portrayal from Alfred Molina to Hugh Dancy. Of course, as an animated series, audiences won’t be seeing Dancy sporting any of the Doctor’s iconic tentacles or glasses but it does appear that the animated series is throwing things back to the ‘90s for its inspiration.

From what we’ve seen so far, it looks like Spider-Man: Freshman Year will set out to design its characters with a blend of the original comic book and the Spider-Man: The Animated Series of yesteryear.

Alfred Molina will be replaced by Hugh Dancy (Hannibal) as Doc Ock in the Spider-Man: Freshman Year series.

The concept art reveals that the bowl-cut and thick-framed glasses are there as well as the lab coat that Doc Ock never seems to leave home without. As for the character’s transformation into part man, part machine that we last saw Alfred Molina step into in Spider-Man: No Way Home, it’s up in the air as to how Disney and Marvel will handle this.

The throwback art design also shouldn’t come as a shock to many fans of the studios as that vibe was already coming back in X-Men ‘97.

The last time fans spotted Alfred Molina’s Doc Ock was in 2021’s Spider-Man: No Way Home when the trio of Peter Parkers (Tom Holland, Andrew Garfield, and Tobey Maguire) were doing their best to zap a group of villains back to their universes. The film opened up what was possible moving forward in the Marvel franchise, blending the old with the new and bringing back stars like Molina and Willem Dafoe who hadn’t been seen in a Spider-Man movie in decades.

When Does Spider-Man: Freshmen Year Come Out?

While Spider-Man: Freshman Year may be shaking things up and giving new voices to a handful of beloved characters, fans are undoubtedly still holding out hope that another crossover event will take place in the MCU sometime down the line. Disney and Marvel’s animated series is slated for an arrival on Disney+ in 2024.