The Sam Raimi-directed Spider-Man 2 (2004) starring Tobey Maguire in the titular role is regarded as one of the greatest comic book films ever made, and now, it appears that its main antagonist will return to the big screen in the upcoming third movie of the franchise's current series of Spidey films.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, Alfred Molina will be back as Dr. Otto Octavius, a.k.a., Doctor Octopus for the tentatively titled Spider-Man 3, which stars Tom Holland as everyone's friendly neighborhood webhead.
Molina is said to have been seen on-set according to THR's sources, who all but confirmed that he is, indeed, reprising the role of Doctor Octopus. This makes him the second actor to come back to the franchise as the same character they played before, the second being Jamie Foxx who will also return as Electro. However, Foxx's character appeared during the Andrew Garfield era of the franchise from The Amazing Spider-Man 2.
In Spider-Man 2, Molina played Doctor Octopus, a scientist who had mechanical tentacles fused to his body during a tragic lab presentation. The artificial intelligence that was created to help control the tentacles started influencing his mind to do terrible things in order to grow its power.
If you're keeping track of everything so far, there are now two actors playing the same characters from two previous iterations of the Spider-Man film franchise, who will appear in Spider-Man 3.
This has further fueled rumors regarding Maguire and Garfield who may make an apperance with Holland. That's three Spider-Men from different eras in one movie!
Further speculation on how this is even possible lies in the fact that Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) will play a role in Spider-Man 3, and his involvement will somehow open up a portal to the "multiverse" that will allow alternative realities and dimensions to cross over each other.
Marvel and Sony have yet to release any statement regarding the rumors.
Holland's turn playing Spider-Man started in Captain America: Civil War (2016) before getting his own standalone film with 2017's Spider-Man: Homecoming, and 2019's Spider-Man: Far From Home.
Spider-Man 3 is expected to release theatrically on Dec. 17, 2021. Jon Watts, who directed Homecoming and Far From Home, will return to direct. Expected to come back to their roles in the franchise are Marisa Tomei (Aunt May), Zendaya (MJ), Jacob Batalon (Ned), and Tony Rovolori (Flash Thompson).
(Images from Sony Pictures)