What is a spoiler? It’s a question worth asking these days, as more and more comic book movie news is first reported by fan-driven blogs drawing from leaked set photos. For example, is Alfred Molina‘s oft-rumored and now confirmed return as Doctor Octopus in the next Spider-Man movie a spoiler? Will the character appear in the film’s marketing materials, or is his return a “reveal” in the script? I won’t pretend to know, but what I do know is that the constant drip drip drip of comic book movie news sure has made the movies themselves feel anti-climactic. But if that’s what the people want, then who am I to argue?
Because guess what? They’re all coming back. Everyone.
Just like Jamie Foxx‘s Electro, Andrew Garfield will be back, and if Sony/Marvel can close a deal with Tobey Maguire, he’ll be back too. Kirsten Dunst will return as MJ, and I expect Emma Stone to reprise her role as Gwen Stacy, pregnancy permitting. Why? Because this third Spider-Man movie starring Tom Holland will delve into the multi-verse, just like its animated counterpart Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. I don’t think that’s a big secret at this point, so why do we pretend it is? Because we love the pageantry of it all.
Truthfully, I’ll never understand why fans want to know every little detail about a movie before they see it, though I can certainly understand the excitement surrounding Molina‘s return, seeing as his Doc Ock is the best villain Spider-Man has ever faced on the big screen. The eight-limbed scientist was the best thing about Sam Raimi‘s Spider-Man 2, which remains the standout entry in the Spider-Man franchise.
Jon Watts is back to direct the new Spider-Man movie, which will once again co-star Zendaya, Jacob Batalon, Tony Revolori and Marisa Tomei. This time around, they’ll be joined by Benedict Cumberbatch‘s Doctor Strange, as the Sorcerer Supreme will serve as a mentor of sorts to Holland‘s Peter Parker.
Sony is slated to release the superhero sequel in theaters on Dec. 17, 2021. Its predecessor, Spider-Man: Far from Home, took in more than $1 billion worldwide en route to becoming the highest-grossing Spider-Man movie of all time.
Molina recently lent his mighty voice to Frozen II, and he’ll soon be seen opposite Carey Mulligan in the revenge thriller Promising Young Woman.