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Spider-Man 3 Will Digitally De-Age Alfred Molina’s Doc Ock

Spider-Man 3
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Spider-Man 3 Updates: To play Doc Ock in Spider-Man 3, Alfred Molina says he will be electronically de-aged. It’s been seventeen years since Molina first appeared in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 2 as scientist-turned-supervillain Otto Octavius alias Doctor Octopus.

And although Octavius died at the end of that film, the character would return in Spider-Man: No Way Home to threaten Peter Parker once more.

In reality, Molina isn’t the only actor reprising his role from an earlier Spider-Man film in No Way Home. Jamie Foxx, who starred Electro in The Amazing Spider-Man 2, is returning to reprise his role as the villain.

There have also been suggestions that Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield, who played Peter Parker in the animated Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, might appear. No Way Home follows the multiverse idea that was so entertaining in the animated Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.

Producing a multiverse movie of several variations of characters is easy enough in animation, but it becomes more complex in live-action, particularly when older actors are asked to play younger versions of themselves. This is where digital anti-aging technology comes into play. In a recent interview with Variety, Molina revealed that de-aging is being used to allow him to portray Doc Ock as he would have appeared instantly after the incidents of Spider-Man 2.

Spider-Man 3: Doc Ock

Spider-Man 3
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However, Molina claims that he has one advantage over Robert De Niro as it comes to masking the fact that his body isn’t in as good a shape as it was when he was younger: Doc Ock’s tentacles.

Doctor Octavius, of course, could not expect to defeat Spider-Man without his high-tech tentacles, which were developed using CGI for the films. “Then it occurred to me that the tentacles are the ones who do all the work!”

Concerns regarding de-aging limits were expressed by Molina. In his position as Doc Ock, Molina explained that he simply makes a lot of frightening faces while “the weapons do all the shooting, smashing, and breaking.”

It would be interesting to see how good de-aging technology is at having Molina’s Doc Ock look seventeen years younger. In scenes where De Niro was asked to do athletic movements that exposed his true age, there were problems with The Irishman, as Molina rightly points out.

However, unlike in a Scorsese film, Spider-Man 3 is unlikely to feature Doc Ock attempting to stomp on humans. Doc Ock’s tentacles are the highlight of the show, as Molina often points out. In action scenes where he’s using his robotic arms to cause mayhem, we won’t get much of a chance to examine the de-aging function.