Alfred Molina opens up about returning to play Doctor Octopus in Spider-Man: No Way Home

By Stephen Ippolito | April 16th, 2021

In December, MCU fans were stunned to learn that Alfred Molina would return to play Otto Octavius (aka Doctor Octopus) in Spider-Man: No Way Home. The actor became the second former Spidey villain to return after Jamie Foxx’s Electro. Fans have been hoping that this would open the door for Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield to also appear, but that has yet to be confirmed.

In a new interview with Variety, Molina spoke for the first time about working on the film and what it was like returning after 17 years.

“It was wonderful,” Molina said. “It was very interesting going back after 17 years to play the same role, given that in the intervening years, I now have two chins, a wattle, crow’s feet and a slightly a slightly dodgy lower back.”

“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. But, you know, it’s all over the internet. I actually described myself as the worst kept secret in Hollywood!”

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The biggest detail he revealed was that Octavius’ story in the film would actually pick up from the last time we saw him in 2004’s Spider-Man 2. If you remember, it looked like Doctor Octopus drowned in the river after sacrificing himself to save New York. While he didn’t reveal exactly how, I would think that before he meets his demise, he will be transported to Tom Holland’s Spider-Man universe.

Given his age now at 67, Molina said he had some concerns about returning. When he asked director Jon Watts about how they would make him look 17 years younger, he told him they would use digital de-aging technology. This was the same thing used for Robert Downey Jr. in Captain America: Civil War and Samuel L. Jackson in Captain Marvel.

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Spider-Man: No Way Home hits theaters on December 17th, 2022

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