‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’: Doc Ock Actor Alfred Molina Was Worried About Returning to the Character After 17 Years

Before its trailer came out, Spider-Man: No Way Home had long been rumored to bring back characters from the past Spider-Man movies. As you may expect, fans were desperate to see their favorite actors, including Andrew Garfield and Tobey Maguire, joining Tom Holland, and have their ‘spidey senses’ tingle altogether in this one epic film.

However, the leaked teaser trailer only confirmed the return of one character — Doc Ock, played by Spider-Man 2 original actor Alfred Molina. At about 2:38 minutes in, we see the Doc popping up dramatically (as expected) with all his four tentacles. After the usual dramatic pause, he utters a single line, “Hello Peter.”

According to Variety, when Molina was invited to play the role, he was a bit worried. Of course, this was only natural, seeing as it had been almost 17 years since he was fitted into the costume. So, let’s see what more the actor had to say about his part.

How it ended for the Old Doc Ock

Alfred Molina at the U.K. film premiere of 'Spider-Man 2'
Alfred Molina | Dave Hogan/Getty Images

We first saw Alfred Molina in Spider-Man 2, where he portrayed Doctor Otto Octavius, a genius scientist and mentor to Peter Parker. With the aid of his tentacle-like mechanical contraptions, the doc set out to create his own version of the infamous ‘fusion reactor.’  However, after a tragic failure with the experiment, the good doctor fused with the artificial intelligence in his mechanical arms, ultimately transforming into this villainous, obsessive version of himself we’d come to know as Doc Ock.

What follows is a series of battles with Spider-Man and all kinds of mayhem around New York City. Ultimately, after Peter appeals to his good side, the villain has a change of heart and sinks his precious fusion reactor in the East River to save the city from destruction — thereby meeting his end.

Alfred Molina’s age concerns

When Alfred Molina was first asked to come back as Doc Ock in Spider-Man: No Way Home, the actor says he was told to keep it a secret. However, this didn’t stop him, as he confirmed his part in the movie soon after. He even went as far as describing his experience making the film, stating that “it was wonderful,” he further added, “it was very interesting going back to play the same role after 17 years.”

However, before confirming his acceptance to the director of No Way Home, Jon Watts, Molina’s main concern was that he may not look the part, seeing as he is now 67 years old. As reported by Variety, Molina said, “I now have two chins, a wattle, crow’s feet, and a slightly dodgy lower back.” His main puzzle was how his character’s story would be spun to fit the narrative.

However, Watts convinced him of the possibility, pointing out how the Marvel Cinematic Universe had already successfully used de-aging CGI technology on Samuel L. Jackson in Captain Marvel and Robert Downey Jr in Captain America Civil War, where they both play younger versions of themselves.

When asked about managing the stunts, Alfred Molina acknowledged that he lacked the physicality he had 17 years back. However, the nature of his role was not that technical to begin with. Molina said,” the arms are doing all the killing and smashing and breaking,” and all he had to do was put on a mean glare.

Who else will appear in ‘No Way Home’?

From time and again, the MCU has proven to us that no character ever really dies in its universe. However, with the whole multiverse concept, diverging timelines, and of course, the mere involvement of Dr. Strange, it raises the question of whether the Doc Ock we’ll see will be the same character we know or will be from an alternative universe.

Watts hinted to Alfred Molina that the story would pick up where Doc Ock died in Spider-Man 2, drowning in the river. Where they go from there is still unclear. Also, in the trailer, there are strong hints of other characters popping up, like Electro and Green Goblin. We are yet to see whether the same characters, Electro by Jamie Foxx and Green Goblin by Willem Dafoe, will also come back.

Spider-Man is, arguably, one of the greatest sci-fi characters of all time. Even with three different actors adorning the red and blue suit, everybody still loves your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man!

Perhaps now, by bringing on a few of those old characters, the two trilogies will, at last, feel more wholesome. Whether Doc Ock will be from an alternate universe or a revamp of the Spider-Man 2 villain will be another great mystery to look forward to.

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