In a piece of scintillating news that is sure to turn the Marvel Cinematic Universe rumor mill up to full blast, The Hollywood Reporter is reporting that sources tell them actor Alfred Molina is returning to the role of villain Dr. Octopus in the MCU’s third Spider-Man movie. This eventuality would see the actor returning to the role he played to critical acclaim way back in 2004, in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 2. It also throws serious fuel onto speculation that this version of Spider-Man 3 would be exploring some of the same meta-territory previously seen in the animated Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. We could be looking at a live action Spider-Verse, if you will.
Making this case even stronger is the previous news that actor Jamie Foxx will also be reprising the role of villain Electro for the film. Foxx had played Electro in 2014’s The Amazing Spider-Man 2 starring Andrew Garfield, meaning that this MCU version of Spider-Man 3 would contain actors from all three modern Spider-Man feature film franchises of the last two decades. The obvious question: Does this mean we can expect to see appearances by Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield as other versions of Peter Parker, meeting up with the current iteration played by Tom Holland? In a since-deleted Instagram post, Foxx seemed to hint at this exact sort of situation, claiming that “three different Spider-Men could appear in the film,” according to THR. Marvel and Sony, perhaps unsurprisingly, have offered up no comment.
At the very least, we know that Tom Holland will return as the most recent live-action iteration of Spidey, and the still untitled third film currently has a release date of Dec. 17, 2021. Director Jon Watts returns after Spider-Man: Homecoming and Spider-Man: Far From Home. The latter, released in 2019, is still technically the most recent MCU film thanks to the delays related to the COVID-19 pandemic, and with more than a $1 billion global haul it became the highest-grossing Spider-Man film yet. There’s no doubt that there will be many Spider-people to come.
We’ll bring you more details as they emerge on what looks like a particularly exciting (and geeky) corner of the MCU.