After years of theories and anticipation, Spider-Man: No Way Home will finally hit theaters in a few short weeks. Anticipation for the threequel has always been high, but few could have guessed the madness would reach new heights. Just one year ago, fans had no indication the threequel would be a Multiversal affair until Alfred Molina was shockingly confirmed to return as the villain Doc Ock from Tobey Maguire's Spider-Man 2.
Since then, Willem Dafoe's Green Goblin and Jamie Foxx's Electro have both been confirmed to reprise their villainous roles with, both Sandman and Lizard also returning. On top of that, rumors have indicated Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield may also be coming back for a rematch against their wall-crawler foes.
By all accounts, No Way Home appears set to be the biggest Spider-Man film ever to hit theaters, and with just days until release, Alfred Molina has revealed why he was hesitant to come back for the multiverse blockbuster.
Why Alfred Molina was Hesitant to Return
During a villain-centric Spider-Man: No Way Home panel at CCXP 2021, Doc Ock actor Alfred Molina discussed his return to the 2004 role and explained why he was hesitant to come back.
The Spider-Man 2 star first discussed his surprise at being asked to return as his iconic villain over a decade later, jokingly calling it "the longest options studios have exercised on actors":
"Oddly enough, Willem [Dafoe] and I were kind of joshing the other day about how [there have been] 20 years since his Green Goblin and 17 years since my first time as Doc Ock and these are the longest options studios have exercised on actors, you know it's like we've been waiting."
Molina went on to reveal he was initially skeptical about signing on because "[he's] 17 years old, [he's] got chins, [and he's] got wrinkles" but eventually realized "they've got the technology" to make it work:
"But it's the material, the pitch was excellent and I, to be honest, 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?' And then of course I suddenly realized, 'Wait a minute, they've got the technology, this isn't going to be a problem.'"
The Australian actor ultimately seems to be happy with his decision to come back to "something that is familiar but at the same time completely new":
"But it's been very nice to come back to something that is familiar but at the same time completely new because the technology has moved on phenomenally in the last couple of decades you know, so it's kind of still exciting."
Molina's Surprising Call from Sony and Marvel
With over a decade passed since Alfred Molina last appeared in his villainous role, it must have been a surprise for the actor to receive a call from Marvel and Sony asking him to return as Doc Ock for Spider-Man: No Way Home.
Over the years, the CGI de-aging of actors has proven to be a point of contention within the movie industry, as the effects have often looked unrealistic. But as the technology has advanced, Hollywood has managed to release entire films led by de-aged actors.
Based on the few shots revealed thus far, Marvel Studios' VFX team appears to have done an excellent job of taking Alfred Molina and Willem Dafoe back to their younger years, as both are now in their late sixties.
For now, it remains unclear whether the return of Foxx, Molina, and Dafoe is a one-time event or if they'll be back for more MCU projects, but fans ought to get a better idea of what the future may hold by the time the final credits roll on No Way Home.
Spider-Man: No Way Home hits theaters on December 17, 2021.