Alfred Molina has officially confirmed his return as Doctor Octopus in the forthcoming new Marvel film Spider-Man: No Way Home.
The actor, who last portrayed the scientist-turned-eight-limbed villain in Sam Raimi’s 2004 sequel Spider-Man 2, will revisit his role as Otto Octavius for the follow-up to 2019’s Spider-Man: Far From Home.
Speaking in a new interview, Molina described his involvement as “the worst kept secret in Hollywood” and detailed how his character fits into the new Tom Holland-starring movie.
“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,” he told Variety. “But, you know, it’s all over the internet. I actually described myself as the worst kept secret in Hollywood!”
Going into detail about his involvement, he continued: “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 a slightly dodgy lower back.”
Addressing the elephant in the room early on, Molina said he asked No Way Home director Jon Watts how the film would bring his character back being that Doctor Octopus died in Spider-Man 2. “In this universe, no one really dies,” he said the director told him.
The actor also talked about how it’s been almost 20 years since he last put on the tentacles of Doc Ock, revealing he was concerned about how Watts would deal with the fact that he’s now 67, and has obviously aged since the last film.
“He just looked at me, and said, ‘Did you see what we did to Bob Downey Jr. and Sam Jackson?’” Molina said, referring to the de-aging technology used to de-age Robert Downey Jr. in 2016’s Captain America: Civil War, and Samuel L. Jackson in 2019’s Captain Marvel.
“I don’t have the same physicality that I had 17 years ago. That’s just a fact,” he continued, before adding: “I then remembered that it’s the tentacles that do all the work!”
News of Molina’s casting leaked last December, after it was reported Jamie Foxx would be returning as Electro and Benedict Cumberbatch would also be appearing as Doctor Strange.
The title for Spider-Man: No Way Home was revealed in February. It is currently scheduled to arrive in cinemas on December 17, 2021.