In true villain form, Alfred Molina has essentially spoiled the plot of the upcoming “Spider-Man: No Way Home.”
Disregarding Marvel’s web of nondisclosure agreements that keep its stars sworn to secrecy, the actor confirmed that he will be reprising his role as the tentacled baddie Doctor Octopus, aka Doc Ock, in the Tom Holland-led sequel 17 years after he first played the role.
“When we were shooting it, we were all under orders not to talk about it, because it was supposed to be some great big secret,” Molina told Variety in an interview published Friday. “But, you know, it’s all over the internet. I actually described myself as the worst kept secret in Hollywood!”
Reports claimed last year that Molina, who first faced off against Toby Maguire’s web-slinger in 2004’s “Spider-Man 2,” was set to make his return to the franchise in a super-sized, multiverse-melding crossover.
Marvel boss Kevin Feige and reigning Spider-Man Tom Holland have since kept quiet on rumors of past characters making appearances in the superhero blockbuster, which is due to hit theaters in December.
Molina, however, had no such hang-ups discussing specific plot details about how his character returns, explaining that the film will pick up from “that moment” at the end of “Spider-Man 2” with his character drowning himself in the East River.
The actor said he was initially confused how the new sequel would reverse Doc Ock’s final fate, until director Jon Watts explained that “no one really dies” in this iteration of the story.
“It was wonderful,” the actor said of reprising the role. “It was very interesting going back after 17 years to play the same role, given that in the intervening years, I now have two chins, a wattle, crow’s feet and a slightly dodgy lower back.”
To maintain some semblance of continuity, Molina explained that production will make use of the same digital de-aging effects that previously shaved years off actors Samuel L. Jackson and Robert Downey Jr. in other Marvel Cinematic Universe films.
“I don’t have the same physicality that I had 17 years ago,” he continued. “That’s just a fact.”
Thankfully, the character’s metal robotic arms do most of the action, which Molina said gave him some relief, as he remembered he mostly just has to keep a “mean look on my face.”
Fans are now convinced that “Spider-Man: No Way Home” will be full of meta, multiverse fun after Molina clarified he’s indeed playing the same version of the character we first met in “Spider-Man 2.” In addition to Doc Ock, Jamie Foxx’s Electro, who battled Andrew Garfield in “The Amazing Spider-Man 2,” is also set to return, presumably setting the stage for a big bad team-up that will keep Spidey busy.
“Spider-Man: No Way From Home,” which also stars Zendaya, Jacob Batalon, Marisa Tomei, Tony Revolori, and Benedict Cumberbatch as Doctor Strange, is scheduled to swing into theaters Dec. 17.
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