Alfred Molina has revealed that he will indeed be returning to portray the villain Doctor Octopus on the upcoming Marvel Cinematic Universe movie Spider-Man: No Way Home. The question of Molina starring in the third Spider-Man movie with Tom Holland as the title character has been debated for quite some time.

Molina previously appeared as the character of Otto Octavius/Doctor Octopus in the 2004 film Spider-Man 2 directed by Sam Raimi. Molina has confirmed that this will be the same version of the antagonist. When asked how his character is alive after dying at the end of Spider-Man 2, the actor said that his story will take place immediately after Octavius started to drown in the river. Digital de-aging effects will be provided due to it being almost 20 years since the actor first portrayed the villain.

Molina himself revealed his concerns about reprising the role when asked by director Jon Watts, but was convinced when he discovered that he would mainly be avoiding all of the stunts. “They made Robert De Niro’s face younger, but when he was fighting, he looked like an older guy,” Molina told Variety. “He looked like an old guy! That’s what that’s what worried me about doing it again. I don’t have the same physicality that I had 17 years ago. I then remembered that it’s the tentacles that do all the work! I just do that a lot, and the arms are doing all the killing and smashing and breaking. I’m just going with a kind of mean look on my face. It was fantastic!”

Many fans voiced skepticism of Molina’s claim of returning to the Spider-Man franchise, as Evan Peters was previously believed to be returning to the MCU as Quicksilver in WandaVision, only for it to be revealed that he was merely playing an actor named Ralph Bohner. Regardless of people’s doubts, many filmgoers are excited to see Molina return to the MCU as one of the most tragic and beloved villains from comic book movie history.

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