Alfred Molina says Spider-Man 3 will de-age him to play Doc Ock. It’s been seventeen years since Molina first played with scientist-turned-supervillain Otto Octavius aka Doctor Octopus in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 2. Though Octavius expired at the end of that picture, the character will be attracted back to menace Peter Parker again in the approaching Spider-Man: No Way Home.
Molina isn’t the only actor from an older Spider-Man series set to reunite in No Way Home. Jamie Foxx, who played Electro in The Amazing Spider-Man 2, is also coming back to play with the same villain again. There have also been rumours that former Peter Parker celebrities Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield can reunite as No Way Home embraces the multiverse theory that proved so entertaining in the animated Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.
Building a multiverse film that includes various different iterations of characters is simple enough to pull off in an animated film, but matters of course become more difficult in live-action, particularly if older actors are being called on to play younger versions of these. That is where electronic de-ageing technology comes in. Molina confirmed that de-aging is being used so he could play Doc Ock as he’d have appeared right after the events of Spider-Man 2. Molina admits he did express concerns about his age to director Jon Watts but was immediately reassured. “He just looked at me, and said, ‘Can you see what we did to Bob Downey Jr. and Sam Jackson?’ ” Molina remembered. But, de-ageing has its limitations also, as Molina discussed, mentioning Martin Scorsese’s The Irishman:
“They left Robert De Niro’s face younger, but if he was fighting, he looked like an older guy. He seemed like an old guy! That’s what concerned me about doing it. I don’t have the same physicality that I had 17 decades back. That’s just a fact.”
But Molina says he’s one edge over Robert De Niro when it comes to covering up the fact that his body isn’t in the same form as when he was younger: Doc Ock’s tentacles. The character of Doctor Octavius of course couldn’t hope to fight Spider-Man with no high-tech tentacles, which are created for the films using CGI. “I then remembered that it is the tentacles that do all of the work! ” Molina said of his concerns about de-ageing limitations. Molina added in playing the part of Doc Ock he just makes a lot of scary faces while”that the arms do all the beating and killing and breaking.”
It was seen how effective de-aging technology is in creating Molina’s Doc Ock seem as he’d seventeen years back. Molina properly points out that there were issues with The Irishman in scenes in which De Niro was called upon to perform physical moves that destroy his true age. But Spider-Man 3 won’t see Doc Ock attempting to stomp folks like in a Scorsese movie. Since Molina additionally points out, the tentacles are the star of the show using Doc Ock. Audiences likely won’t have much opportunity to scrutinize the de-aging perform in action scenes where he’s utilizing his robotic arms to make mayhem. And any conversation scenes won’t need Molina to maneuver much, meaning that there shouldn’t be any issues with his altered physicality.