Alfred Molina loved having CGI tentacles in ‘Spider-Man: No Way Home’


It’s been seventeen years since we first met Alfred Molina’s Doctor Octopus in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 2, but for the most part the visual effects have held up pretty well, and they arguably look better than plenty of blockbusters we’ve seen this year where the CGI could generously be described as ropey.

That being said, it was still a tricky job bringing the villain’s iconic tentacles to life, even if he only had four as opposed to the eight you’d expect from someone called Otto Octavius that comes bearing the moniker of a cephalopod. Sure, there was plenty of post-production trickery involved, but it also required a team of puppeteers wrangling his appendages to fit with whatever camera movements or action sequences were being shot.

Naturally, CGI is doing the bulk of the work in next week’s Spider-Man: No Way Home, and during his appearance on Hot Ones, Tom Holland revealed that his veteran co-star was thrilled about his load being lightened.

“His robotic arms were puppets. They were real tangible things and they’d have a guy on each one and they would puppeteer them while he was performing. So, he had to work in tandem with the other four guys. On this film, obviously, technology has advanced. CGI is so prevalent in these films. So, it was amazing seeing him have a bit more freedom on set with the way he could move without having to rely on other people.

We have this thing called Da Toothpick Rig, which is like a long bar, almost like a crane, with a platform on one end and weights on the other. And they’d put him on that crane so they can move him around so that it looks like the arms are carrying him. And he loved it. Like, he absolutely loved it.”

Given that Molina is 68 years old, it’s hardly a shock to discover that he’s much happier letting the pixels pull off his nefarious feats rather than being strapped into a rig or other contraption, which is probably one of the reasons he was so quick to agree to his unexpected comeback in No Way Home.