One of my favorite parts about Spider-Man: No Way Home was seeing Alfred Molina return as Doc Ock. He just plays such a great version of the character and no one would have ever thought that 17 years after playing the character the first time he’d be back to play him again! Yet, here he is and it was fantastic.
In a behind-the-scenes interview from Sony Pictures, Molina opens up about playing the character again and how he was looking to play the same but different version of the character in the MCU:
“What I thought was so wonderful about [Spider-Man 2], the first time, was they gave Doc Ock this wonderful redemptive moment. And like all great villains, like a lot of villains in the Marvel universe, he’s become a villain kind of reluctantly — or almost by accident. I knew that when Jon [Watts, director] described what’s going to be Doc Ock’s first appearance in this film, he just knows it’s going to be a moment of [jaw-dropping awe].”
When talking about his performance and preparing to take on the role of the villain again, he said:
“I wanted to make sure that I was in the right place in terms of the performance, so it was useful to go back and look at [Spider-Man 2], But at the same time, it’s a different director, it’s a different movie, there’s a freshness to it, so I didn’t want to just come back and replicate what we’d done before. It was important to me to arrive as if this were the first time.”
Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige went on to talk about bringing Doc Ock back for No Way Home, saying:
“It did not occur to us to do a new Goblin story, or to do an Oscorp story, or to do Doc Ock, or anyone that had been done before, which is why Vulture and Mysterio were really the key characters [in the MCU]. Even as we were doing that — and I had been saying for years, even before anybody asked me what I thought — that you can’t get better than Alfred Molina as Doc Ock.”
“[I said] stepping into those shoes would be very, very difficult. And wouldn’t it be fun to find a way, if you were ever going to bring Doc Ock back, it would have to be Alfred Molina. And in early development on this third Homecoming movie, we realized that thanks to the MCU, there was a way to do that.”
I have no idea if we’ll ever see Molina’s Doc Ock again, or any of the other characters that were brought back for No Way Home, but it would certainly be awesome if we did! I know there are a lot of rumors regarding the future of the Spider-Man franchise, but nothing has really come from any credible source that I’ve seen, so we’ll just have to wait and see.