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Many fans are very excited for the upcoming Marvel Cinematic Universe film, Spider-Man: No Way Home because it features the return of villains from past Spider-Man movies. Its cast is impressive, to say the least, and many surprises are yet to come. But how did the producers of Spider-Man: No Way Home get actors like Alfred Molina to reprise their roles? As it turns out, there are many reasons why an actor signs on to be in a film.

'Spider-Man: No Way Home' star Alfred Molina wears a black suit over a white checkered button-up shirt and a black tie with purple and white stripes.
Alfred Molina | Photo by Michael Tran/FilmMagic

Alfred Molina reprises his role as Doctor Octopus in ‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’

Spider-Man: No Way Home sees the return of Alfred Molina as Doctor Octopus, Willem Dafoe as Green Goblin, and Jamie Foxx as Electro.

The three actors previously starred in different Spider-Man films. Dafoe and Molina acted opposite Tobey Maguire’s Peter Parker in Spider-Man and Spider-Man 2, respectively. And Foxx was in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 alongside Andrew Garfield’s Peter Parker.

In Spider-Man: No Way Home, Peter Parker and Doctor Strange mess up a spell intended to make the world forget Peter is Spider-Man. As a result, they break open the multiverse. That’s when the former Spider-Man villains, including Alfred Molina’s Doctor Octopus, appear in the MCU.

Alfred Molina discusses the reasons why he accepted the part in ‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’

During a panel at CCXP, Spider-Man: No Way Home stars Alfred Molina, Willem Dafoe, and Jamie Foxx discussed their roles. When asked why he returned to play Doctor Octopus, Molina humorously said, “For me, it’s just about the money.”

All jokes aside, Molina revealed, “Oddly enough, Willem and I were kind of joshing the other day about how [it’s been] 20 years since his first Green Goblin and 17 years since my first time as Doc Ock, and these are the longest options that a studio has ever exercised on actors. You know it’s like we’ve been waiting, but the material, the pitch, was excellent.”

“I, to be honest, when when the idea was first suggested, my first thought was, ‘Hang on, I’m 17 years older. I’ve got chins; I’ve got wrinkles. What are they going to do?'” he explained. “Then, of course, I suddenly realized, wait a minute, they’ve got the technology, this isn’t going to be a problem.”

Molina added, “But it’s been very nice to come back to something that, as you know, is familiar but at the same time completely new. The technology has moved on phenomenally in the last couple of decades, you know, and so it’s kind of still exciting.”


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Why did Jamie Foxx and Willem Dafoe sign on for the ‘Spider-Man’ film?

Spider-Man: No Way Home stars Jamie Foxx and Willem Dafoe also discussed why they agreed to return in the movie.

Foxx said, “I was excited knowing Amy [Pascal] for years, man, and knowing what she’s done with this franchise, and she was explaining to me that it’s gonna be hot, and I didn’t have to be blue, and things like that as far as my character is concerned, so you’re gonna be a little more hip, and that I get a chance to hang out with these incredible thespians.”

“You know, when I heard it, I thought, ‘Well, that’s pretty nutty. I got speared pretty good in the first film,’ but I thought, ‘Okay, they can figure out a way to bring me back,'” Dafoe shared. “But it was really the pitch, and like Jamie, I know Amy’s history. She walked me through it, and then Jon [Watts], the director, kind of pitched the whole idea before I read a script, and it sounded like a lot of fun and a good solution.”

He continued, “Then when we went deeper into it, I liked the idea that I was returning to something that was the same but different. It’s a return to something I did before with that kind of history. But there’s a spin on it, and that appealed to me.”

Spider-Man: No Way Home, starring Alfred Molina, Willem Dafoe, and Jamie Foxx, premieres exclusively in theaters on Dec. 17.