All three live-action takes on Spider-Man are officially colliding. THR is reporting, after recent rumors from set photos, that Alfred Molina will indeed return as Doctor Octopus for Tom Holland’s third outing as Spider-Man in the tentatively titled Spider-Man 3. The actor originally played the character in 2004’s Spider-Man 2, going up against Tobey Maguire’s Spidey.
Molina will be joined by another returning actor from the Andrew Garfield era of the films. Jamie Foxx, who played Electro in The Amazing Spider-Man 2, was previously confirmed to be returning to his role for the film. On top of that, J.K. Simmons has already returned as J. Jonah Jameson in the teaser at the end of Spider-Man: Far From Home and is appearing in Spider-Man 3 as well. That’s a glut of past actors all coming back for the film and most likely hints at Sony’s attempts to build out its Spider-verse and consolidate its plethora of Spider-Man films into one universe… that’s also still connected to the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
This, alongside the previous news that Benedict Cumberbatch’s Doctor Strange will be in the film, also pours a lot more fuel on the fire for the rumor that both Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield will return for the film and that we’ll see a multiverse Spider-Man adventure. Those rumors were never confirmed by Sony (and Alfred Molina’s involvement as Doctor Octopus hasn’t been either), but it seems far more likely to be happening given the return of all these classic actors. As of now, it sure seems like Doctor Strange will be up to some multiverse antics that pull in past Spidey villains and Spider-Mans from previous films, much akin to what happened in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.