Spider-Man 3: Doctor Octopus Star Reveals He'll Be De-Aged For Tom Holland Movie

By Richard Nebens Updated:
Tom Holland Doctor Octopus SPider-Man

With so many projects from Marvel Studios on the horizon, there is no shortage of exciting news coming from the MCU on a daily basis. However, even with a combined eight movies and Disney+ shows coming to screens in the next seven months, none have been able to make headlines quite like Marvel and Sony's Spider-Man: No Way Home.

That's what happens with a team-up including the web-slinger and the Sorcerer Supreme, along with the potential of villains appearing from previously non-canon Spider-Man movies.

The MCU's third Spidey solo film, starring Tom Holland, was first rumored to include Jamie Foxx's Electro from The Amazing Spider-Man 2 in October 2020, sending the comic book movie fandom into a frenzy theorizing how he would make his way into a new universe. This was compounded by the reported arrivals of Willem Dafoe's Green Goblin and Thomas Hayden Church's Sandman, both making a comeback from the 2000s Sam Raimi-directed trilogy.

That trilogy had villains from the first and third movies representing themselves, which came after news that a certain mechanical-armed genius from Spider-Man 2 would come into play as well. After numerous reports and cast members discussing his influence on the film, the actor himself has finally confirmed what fans have been waiting to hear.


Doctor Octavius
Spider-Man 2, Spider-Man: No Way Home

In an extensive interview with Variety, actor Alfred Molina confirmed that he will be reprising the role of Doctor Otto Octavius alongside Tom Holland in Marvel Studios' and Sony Pictures' Spider-Man: No Way Home. This confirms his inclusion in the movie after multiple reports and rumors pointing to this casting.

Molina spoke on the intense secrecy of the MCU's 27th movie, revealing that everybody in the cast was "all under orders not to talk about it." Joking about himself as "the worst kept secret in Hollywood," he admitted the challenge of keeping that secret with so much news about it all over the internet:

“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!”

Molina couldn't help but express his excitement to return to the role of Otto Octavius 17 years after his appearance in Spider-Man 2, calling it both "wonderful" and "interesting" at the same time with how much time has passed:

“It was wonderful. 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 dodgy lower back.”

With Octavius having died in the 2004 sequel, Molina spoke to director Jon Watts on how the MCU would bring him back to life. After confirming to Molina that "In this universe, no one really dies," Watts spoke on how the movie will pick up the villain's story from the very moment in which he drowned in the river.

Molina also confirmed that this movie will use de-aging technology to make Octavius look the way he did in Spider-Man 2. He confirmed from his conversation with Watts that Marvel would use the same techniques used on Robert Downey, Jr. in Captain America: Civil War and on Samuel L. Jackson in Captain Marvel:

“He just looked at me, and said, ‘Did you see what we did to Bob Downey Jr. and Sam Jackson?'” (laughs)

While Marvel has done fantastic work with this tech, Molina admitted he was nervous about looking "like an old guy," referencing the way Robert De Niro looked in the Netflix-released Irishman:

“They made Robert De Niro’s face younger, but when he was fighting, he looked like an older guy. He looked like an old guy! That’s what that’s what worried me about doing it again.”


Even for this being news that was first announced four months ago, this is arguably the most exciting version of it coming from the very actor rumored to be in the blockbuster. That being said, there is so much to dissect about everything Molina revealed about his second Marvel movie.

Continuing Marvel Studios' trend of keeping secrets by any means necessary, Molina confirms how strict of orders he and his castmates were under to hide this exciting news from the public. Now that the info is out in the world, he couldn't hold back his excitement to return to arguably the most notable role of his career, one that is regarded by many as one of the best comic book movie villains of all time.

This also confirms that Octavius' story will pick up right where Sony left off in 2004's Spider-Man 2 when the villain sacrificed himself in the Hudson River to destroy his fusion power reactor fueled by tritium. Now, the big mystery is from what point in that scene this massive threequel will pick up.

Before Spider-Man electrocuted Octavius and set him on his path of redemption, the doctor had Kirsten Dunst's Mary-Jane Watson chained up as he powered up his machine to destroy most of New York City. This scene shows Octavius as both a hero and a villain, which means fans will be theorizing about how he makes his way into Tom Holland's Spider-Man universe.

With Molina being 50 years old in his first movie, the MCU's VFX team will be de-aging him by nearly two decades to pick up right from the closing scene of the 2004 movie. Marvel has done a phenomenal job with this task in past projects, like with Michael Douglas' Hank Pym in 2015's Ant-Man

The bottom line of this interview is that the MCU is officially bringing Alfred Molina's Otto Octavius in as a Spider-Man villain, and hype for this movie continues to grow by the day. Spider-Man: No Way Home is set to release in theaters on December 17, 2021.

- In This Article: Spider-Man: No Way Home
Release Date
December 17, 2021
- About The Author: Richard Nebens
Richard Nebens joined The Direct in March 2020, now serving as the site's Senior Writer and also working as an assistant editor and content creator. He started his journalism career as a hobby in 2019 and is passionate about sharing news and stories from the entertainment industry, especially comic book movies, comedy, and sci-fi. Richard looks to expand his knowledge about movies and TV every day, and he is eager to stay locked into the latest releases and breaking news at every opportunity.