Alfred Molina confirmed for 'Spider-Man 3' along with possible past Peter Parkers

Molina as Doctor Octopus (Credit: Columbia Pictures)
Molina as Doctor Octopus (Credit: Columbia Pictures)

Alfred Molina is set to return as Doctor Octopus in the next Spider-Man movie, reprising his role from the Sam Raimi-directed Spider-Man 2 in 2004.

The British actor was rumoured to have been spotted on the movie's set last month, but not The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed the news.

Molina faced off against Tobey Maguire's Peter Parker as the nuclear scientist Otto Octovius, initially Parker's mentor before using his robotic harness for evil.

Watch: Tom Holland begins shooting Spider-Man 3

But according to other reports, Molina might not be the only character from the Spider-Man canon returning for the third movie in its latest iteration.

Collider reckons that a deal to bring in previous Peter Parker Andrew Garfield is 'done', and that Maguire is also 'in talks' to return, starring opposite Tom Holland’s friendly neighbourhood web slinger.

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It also reports that Kirsten Dunst's return as Mary Jane from the Sam Raimi trilogy is also 'a done deal', with Emma Stone's Gwen Stacy, from the Garfield movies, is at the 'in talks' stage too.

The Amazing Spider-Man (Credit: Columbia Pictures)
The Amazing Spider-Man (Credit: Columbia Pictures)

This would all make for a complex 'multiverse' plot for the movie, as seen in the recent animated Spider-Man jaunt, Spider-Man: Into The Spider-Verse, from 2018.

All this is bolstered by Jamie Foxx returning as Electro (from the Garfield movies), and Benedict Cumberbatch pitching up as the MCU's Doctor Strange, appearing to be stepping into the breach as Parker's new mentor following the demise of Tony Stark.

With all these plot strands converging, it's perhaps not unrelated that the new Doctor Strange movie, due in 2022, is suffixed 'In The Multiverse of Madness', and meanwhile, Spider-Man: Far From Home villain Vulture, played by Michael Keaton, is set to appear in the new Morbius movie too.

Watch: Morbius trailer

Whatever the the case, Marvel is keeping officially tight-lipped.

Director Jon Watts, who helmed both Spider-Man: Homecoming and Spider-Man: Far From Home, began filming the third movie in New York in October.

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Production then shifted to Atlanta, with further shoots set to take place in Iceland and Los Angeles in the new year.

Also featuring the return of Zendaya's MJ, Jacob Batalon's Ned and Marisa Tomei as Aunt May, the movie is set for release on 17 December, 2021.