Fan art for Spider-Man: Homecoming 3 imagines the return of Alfred Molina as Doc Ock. The Marvel Cinematic Universe made an effort early on to differentiate Tom Holland’s Spider-Man and his franchise from past incarnations, but they are now starting to directly borrow elements from before. J.K. Simmons returned as a new J. Jonah Jameson at the end of Spider-Man: Far From Home, and it was recently revealed that Jamie Foxx will play a new version of Electro in the upcoming sequel after previously tackling the villain role in The Amazing Spider-Man 2.
Although it is unclear if the latter will be done with the help of the multiverse, the notion of Spider-Man: Homecoming 3 reusing villains from the past has opened up a new realm of speculation for fans. There has already been hope that Sony and Marvel could build to a live-action Spider-Verse where Holland interacts with Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield. The return of Foxx has also made some fans wonder if past villains could return but with an MCU twist. This idea led to a popular suggestion that Alfred Molina could return as Doc Ock, a role he first played in 2004’s Spider-Man 2.
There have yet to be any credible reports of Molina returning as Doc Ock for Spider-Man: Homecoming 3, but some new fan art imagines what would happen if Holland’s Spider-Man met Molina’s Doc Ock. The two pieces of art done by venomhology on Instagram put Spider-Man within the grasp of Doc Ock’s mechanical tentacles. Even though Molina isn’t featured as Otto Octavious in either, the return of his deadly tentacles is enough to tease fans with what a showdown between the two could look like.
If Molina does wind up returning as Doc Ock in Spider-Man: Homecoming 3—or even in Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness, given Sam Raimi’s involvement—it will have to be a new version of the character in some capacity. The ending of Spider-Man 2 saw Doc Ock sacrifice himself to destroy the fusion generator. The MCU can’t bring back that Doc Ock without a major retcon to Spider-Man 2, and that probably wouldn’t go over well with the majority of fans.
Even if Molina plays a completely new version of Doc Ock from another universe or who always existed in the MCU, there will likely still be some hesitancy to see him return. However, the general excitement about the prospect of seeing Molina play Otto again after all these years is high. He gave a terrific performance as Doc Ock before and has a reputation as one of the best comic book movie villains. That would give his next attempt high expectations to meet or surpass. But, it would still be fun to see Molina play the character again and put a new spin on Doc Ock in the process. Whether or not that happens in Spider-Man: Homecoming 3 remains to be seen.