Molina's performance as Doc Ock in 2004's Spider-Man 2 has long been hailed as one of comic book cinema's best; and his return in 2021's Spider-Man: No Way Home fueled much of the MCU film's historic hype.
But when it comes to appearing in Spider-Man franchises, for Molina, three truly is the magic number.
Alfred Molina's Doc Ock Returns in Across the Spider-Verse
A new trailer for Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse featured a surprising cameo from Alfred Molina's Doc Ock.
At the 0:20 mark, Molina's voice can be heard saying, "Hello, Peter," just as he did in Spider-Man: No Way Home.
This could be why Molina dodged the question of whether he would ever return to his Marvel role late last year, telling Vanity Fair, "I can neither confirm nor deny."
However, while the voice definitely belongs to Molina, the trailer does show Miles running into a different tentacled doctor, and not Into the Spider-Verse's Doctor Olivia "Liv" Octavius either.
In fact, this Doc Ock resembles the original comic book design instead Molina's villain from Sam Raimi's Spider-Man 2 or 2021's Spider-Man: No Way Home.
Check out the full trailer below, with Molina's Doc Ock voice heard at the :20 mark:
Will Spider-Verse Include Live-Action Spider-Man Villains?
In a film featuring almost every Spider-Man from across the Multiverse, it only makes sense for various versions of web-slinging villains to make an appearance as well.
If so, that could be why audiences are hearing Alfred Molina's Doctor Octopus, all while seeing another.
This is also isn't the first time Across the Spider-Verse has referenced MCU events. One of the film's first trailers featured Spider-Man 2099, referring to Doctor Strange and Tom Holland's web-slinger and what occurred in No Way Home.
Whether Across the Spider-Verse will actually show Molina as Doc Ock, or any live-action Spideys, is unknown. However, this same trailer did show the Spot interacting with the live-action world, suggesting that the film isn't limited to animation and potentially hinting at others to come.
Spider-Man: Across the Spider-Verse swings into theaters Friday, June 2.