Spider-Man: No Way Home star Alfred Molina is revealing just how Sony and Marvel reacted when he slipped up and revealed his return as Doctor Octopus in Spider-Man: No Way Home. Shocker: Amy Pascal and Kevin Feige were less than happy with the Spider-Man 2 actor. After all, Molina’s slip-up was the first big rock that started to roll down hill in what was an entire avalanche of spoilers about the epic event Spider-Man: No Way Home had in store for fans…
As Alfred Molina recounted to Radio Times, he was never offered up the spoiler of his Doc Ock role in No Way Home: a journalist who had heard some rumors casually tricked it out of him: “Just accidentally, I was talking to a journalist who said, ‘So, you know, how’s the Spider-Man movie going?’ And I went, ‘Oh, great thanks’. Then literally the next day, Variety was like, ‘Alfred Molina reveals Doc Ock returns.'”
That journalist used one of the oldest tricks in the book (we should know…) by talking up a rumor as if it’s already a known fact, and catching an actor off-guard. It’s a tactic that Marvel Studios, DC, and other big franchise players have all certainly earned to avoid in recent years – only problem was, Alfred Molina had not been anywhere near any of those major franchises since he originally played Doctor Octopus in Sam Raimi’s Spider -Man 2 in 2004. Unfortunately, being an out of the game a long time didn’t get him any clemency from Sony or Marvel:
“I got into such trouble,” Molina revealed. “I was getting phone calls from Amy Pascal, Kevin Feige was on the red carpet somewhere and somebody asked him about some Marvel movie and apparently, he got a bit snippy and turned around and said, ‘Ask Alfred Molina’.”
For clarity: Feige was jokingly referencing Molina when asked by the future of Julia Louis-Dreyfus as Valentina Allegra de Fontaine during The Falcon and the Winter Soldier, but the point stands. Pascal and Feige were not happy – nor should they have been.
As stated, Alfred Molina’s Doc Ock blunder was the first real crack that transformed months of rumor about Spider-Man: No Way Home into concrete fact. That included the return of multiple Spider-Man franchise villains, and the biggest milestone of former Spider-Man actors Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield both returning for big supporting roles in the movie. After Molina broke the levees open, fans and Internet “scoopers” felt emboldened and inclined to start posting spoilers, going so far as posting early still images of all three Spider-Men online before the movie was out.
So, even though it wasn’t malicious or intentional, Alfred Molina will inevitably be a major component of asking ourselves what might’ve been, if Spider-Man: No Way Home’s big surprises had stayed surprises.
Spider-Man: No Way Home is now out on home video.