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Spider-Man 3: Alfred Molina Was the Only Choice for Doctor Octopus

Alfred Molina will reprise his role as Doctor Octopus in the MCU's Spider-Man 3, and no other actor could play the villain like he did.

The Marvel Cinematic Universe recently added another familiar face to its Spider-Man 3 cast: Alfred Molina's Doctor Otto Octavius, aka Doctor Octopus. The actor is set to reprise his role as the villain from Sam Raimi's 2004 Spider-Man 2, further fueling the Spider-Verse rumors. Because the film's possible multiverse setting includes past characters, Marvel could have cast anyone for its Doc Ock; however, Molina is really the only actor who could bring justice to the character.

Molina delivered a perfect performance as the brilliant scientist-turned-supervillain in Sam Raimi's Spider-Man 2, and thus became a fan favorite. Otto Octavius started as a mentor to Peter Parker with a desire to use his brains for good, but was lead down a villainous path due to heartbreak caused by the death of his wife. Doc Ock was not only a menacing and terrifying character, but also one audiences could sympathize with. Molina's ability to portray both a very human mentor and a nefarious villain was highly lauded by fans.

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Molina's Doc Ock also had many iconic scenes. First — and possibly most notable — was the terrifying hospital scene that marked Doctor Octopus's origin. Inspired by Raimi's horror genre background, the scene was memorable and one of the villain's best moments. Here, the audience got its first look at Doc Ock's full power in the most horrifying way, as he wreaked havoc on the hospital surgeons. Additionally, the scientist's metal tentacles were menacing and lifelike, and his full costume really captures the essence of the villain. It doesn't look too comical, as the previous villain Goblin did.

Another of Doc Ock's best moments was his self-sacrifice at the end of the film. After battling Spider-Man and realizing he's his mentee, Peter Parker, he returned to his senses. He decided to sacrifice himself to end his doomsday experiment by using his mechanical arms to collapse the building and drown the fusion device.

RELATED: Jamie Foxx Plays Coy on Spider-Man 3 Casting Reports

Spider-Man 2 Tobey Maguire Alfred Molina

Both of these memorable scenes perfectly exhibit Molina's range in playing this complex character. Molina portrayed Doc Ock in the most flawless way, both as the villain and as the scientist before the accident. He managed to balance Octavius's warm-hearted nature with the ferocity of his alter ego — something that not many other superhero movie villains have successfully accomplished.

Directed by Jon Watts, the currently untitled sequel to Spider-Man: Far From Home stars Tom Holland, Zendaya, Jacob Batalon, Jamie Foxx, Alfred Molina and Benedict Cumberbatch. The film arrives in theaters Dec. 17, 2021.

KEEP READING: REPORT: Spider-Man 3 Casts a Second Peter Parker and Mary Jane

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Annaliese Yip (75 Articles Published)

Annaliese Yip is a writer and editor based in Seattle, WA.

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