Tom Holland could share the big screen with Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield in ‘Spider-Man 3’ now that Alfred Molina’s Doc Ock is confirmed!

Written by: Natalie Benoit – December 9th, 2020 11:08pm pst

Doctor Octopus

Credit: Sony

“With great power, comes great responsibility.” 

A recognizable quote Uncle Ben tells his superhero nephew Spider-Man, which is perhaps one of the most iconic lines in the Marvel comics and film history. It’s a phrase especially relevant now as fans expect Marvel and its parent company Disney, to release blockbuster hits for phase four of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. In this next era of the MCU, one highly-anticipated and talked about film is Tom Holland’s Spider-Man 3

This week alone has been a whirlwind for Spidey fans. Talk of the multi-verse appearing in the upcoming Spider-Man movie seems less like hearsay and more like a plan coming to fruition. So let’s untangle this web of rumors and determine what we know is certain. 

Holland, the British actor who portrays the newest on-screen depiction of Spider-Man, is of course reprising his role for the trilogy. The first successful adaptation of the comic book character was back in 2002 with Tobey Maguire under Sony Pictures Entertainment. Marvel licensed the rights to the comic book hero to Columbia Pictures in 1999, a subsidiary of Sony. This led to the first Spider-Man trilogy series starring Maguire, with actress Kirsten Dunst playing Spidey’s love interest, Mary Jane Watson. The second Spider-Man movie (2004) also brought the menacing Dr. Otto Octavius to life. 

Dubbed Doc Ock, the actor Alfred Molina appeared alongside Maguire and Dunst as the Marvel supervillain. Doctor Octopus is credited in the comics for forming and leading the Sinister Six, a team of villains who wreak havoc and antagonize Spider-Man. Even though the character was merely introduced and defeated in the Maguire adaptation, it’s possible for a version of the Sinister Six to appear in the MCU now that the infamous Otto Octavius is making a comeback. Sources told Hollywood Reporter that Molina is returning as the fan-favorite villain for Holland’s Spider-Man 3. This is where theories of the multi-verse come into play. 

In 2018 Sony released the first film focused entirely on the fictional character Venom. Tom Hardy played the sentient alien, which is a member of Doctor Octavius’s squad of supervillains, the Sinister Six. It’s possible Hardy’s depiction of Venom is brought into the mix later in MCU’s phase four.        

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The inclusion of Molina’s Doc Ock paired with Jamie Foxx’s villain Electro, points to a major plot hole the next Spidey installment will need to answer. Electro is another supervillain from the Spider-Man comics who can absorb and project an incredible amount of electricity—Electro is another enemy that is a part of the Sinister Six. Foxx transformed into the shockingly blue antagonist for Andrew Garfield’s 2014 The Amazing Spider-Man 2. Garfield’s depiction of the wall-crawler first materialized in 2012, just five years after Maguire took off the red and blue suit. The Amazing Spider-Man films were also produced by Columbia Pictures under Sony.  

Now we have two actors reprising their characters from two different versions of the Spider-Man movies confirmed to appear in the third and latest portrayal by Holland. What other explanation is there for this crossover if not a multi-verse?! 

Benedict Cumberbatch’s name on the Spider-Man 3 cast list only adds to speculations.  Cumberbatch joined the MCU as the magical sorcerer Doctor Stephen Strange. The character is perhaps one of the only on-screen Marvel characters who can actually travel through the multi-verse given his unique abilities and knowledge of other dimensions. Doctor Strange will also search for the time stone and explore other realities in his next film, Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness (2021). 


Spider-Man 3 is bringing back many of the familiar faces from the first two films with Holland, including Zendaya (Michelle “MJ” Jones), Marisa Tomei (Mary Parker), Jacob Batalon (Ned), and Tony Revolori (Flash). The third installment remains untitled, but it’s dated for release on Dec. 17, 2021. And while no official list or statements regarding the cast are out, there are strong speculations about who will join the upcoming movie. 

Given that their enemies will appear in Spider-Man 3, Maguire and Garfield are reported to return in their respective Spidey suits. Some of their former co-stars are believed to join the cast as well, including Dunst and Emma Stone, aka Gwen Stacy from The Amazing Spider-Man and its sequel.  

There’s even a rumor that the fictional Marvel character Matt Murdock, whose alter ego is a fellow red-wearing crimefighter, is in this third Spider-Man film. Murdock, aka Daredevil, was portrayed by Charlie Cox in the Netflix original series about the vigilante from 2015-2018. 

Sony’s successful hit Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse gave fans a peek into what it would look like if a bunch of Spidey characters from different dimensions joined forces. A live-action version would certainly differ from the animated film, but Spider-Man 3 could become one of the most revered Marvel sequels if the multi-verse is explored.

  About The Author:

Natalie Benoit is a bilingual, multimedia student journalist at Emerson College working on her bachelor’s degree in journalism with a minor in public relations. She is a fall 2020 virtual intern for AfterBuzz TV who hopes to pursue a career in entertainment news reporting and producing. Benoit is a huge fan of action packed fantasies and teen angst shows, including Money Heist, The Witcher and Euphoria. She’s also an avid TikTok user and enjoys watching YouTube videos from different creators.

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