Spider-Man 3 Recruits Alfred Molina's Doc Ock

Doc Ock is back.
Doc Ock is back.
Photo: Sony

Arguably the best on-screen Spider-Man villain ever is making his return and the implications are huge. After weeks of rumors, the Hollywood Reporter now says Alfred Molina is indeed returning as Doctor Octopus for Sony and Marvel’s untitled third Spider-Man film, directed by Jon Watts.


What’s so huge about this is Molina’s version of the Marvel Comics character is from a universe where Tobey Maguire is Peter Parker, while another actor reportedly in the film, Jamie Foxx, is from a universe where Andrew Garfield is Peter Parker. Reminder: neither of them are the star of this movie.

Tom Holland, of course, is our current Spider-Man and this latest (untitled) film is a sequel to Homecoming and Far From Home set in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Throw Benedict Cumberbatch’s Doctor Strange into the mix and it certainly seems like this Spider-sequel has some very strong Into the Spider-Verse vibes.

io9 reached out to Sony which had no comment.

Stepping back a second, Molina played Doc Ock in 2004's Spider-Man 2. In it, he was a mentor and role model to Peter Parker (Maguire) who then went mad with power thanks to his new technology. Spider-Man ends up destroying his technology and allowing him to sacrifice himself to save the city. So, he’s dead and this is very interesting.

Is Holland’s Peter Parker merely going to look back in at these other Spider-showdowns? Will they play a larger role in the plot? We have no idea. What we do know is that production is currently underway on the film and, at the moment, the untitled sequel is set for release on December 17, 2021.


Correction 12/9/20 10:35 a.m. EST: Our original article said that Peter killed Doc Ock in Spider-Man 2 which, we realize, is a very very loose interpretation of those events. We’ve made that more accurate and regret the confusion.

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Entertainment Reporter. NYU Cinema Studies Alum. Formerly Premiere, EW, Us Weekly, and /Film. AP Award-Winning Film Critic & CCA member. Loves Star Wars, posters, Legos, and often all three at once.



I still think this is a weird and not great idea.

The difference between something like and the animated Spider-Verse is that the latter pulled from varied versions of Spider-man with different themes (Morales, Gwen, Noir, Ham, SP//DR, etc).

So far, this seems to be...three versions of the same Spider-man of various quality. Is anyone really excited for the “Garfieldverse” Spidey, and all his weird and forgettable versions of the iconic Rogues Gallery?

The idea of Maguire’s Spidey coming in as a mentor figure would be a novel spin, but they’ve already tapped Doctor Strange for that role.

I’m hoping these are glorified cameos. But that’s just me.