Spider-Man 3 is looking more and more likely to be the live-action Into the Spider-Verse we’ve all been craving. We recently learned that Alfred Molina is back as Doctor Octopus from 2004’s Spider-Man 2, joining Jamie Foxx’s Electro from 2014’s The Amazing Spider-Man 2. Beyond that, there are constant rumors that Marvel Studios is in talks with both Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield, bringing together the three live-action Spider-Men to kick some butt.
The only fly in the ointment is that Doc Ock and Electro appeared to die onscreen in their respective movies. So, how are they going to get them back from the dead and explain how they made the multiversal jump to the MCU?
Well, Electro’s survival is actually fairly straightforward. Near the finale of the film, he’s overloaded by Spidey and apparently disintegrates. As such, it seems like it’d be easy to hand-wave things away and say the sheer amount of power tore a hole in the fabric of reality and sent the electricity-based being spinning through the multiverse.
Doctor Octopus is a little harder to justify, though. In the final moments of Spider-Man 2, he realizes that he’s become a villain, says “I will not die a monster” and destroys his fusion device, saving Spider-Man, MJ and New York City. As his laboratory goes underwater, we see his body sinking into the depths, his eyes glassy and his tentacles powering down. But we don’t see the reactor going out, so fans are theorizing that it may also function as a black hole and could potentially save him.
As ScreenRant explains:
Spider-Man 2’s Otto Octavius was an expert in nuclear fusion, attempting to create the world’s first fusion reactor, but his experiments went badly wrong and instead he created what seemed to be a miniature black hole. In the real world, many scientists have theorized black holes are actually spacetime events that would allow for the creation of wormholes through time and space; in fact, that theory has been championed by figures as esteemed as Stephen Hawking. “Black holes are not the eternal prisons they were once thought,” Hawking said in a speech in 2015. “If you feel you are trapped in a black hole, don’t give up. There is a way out.” If Hawking is correct, anything that falls into a black hole will inevitably escape, but somewhere else in the Multiverse, perhaps even in an alternate universe. “The hole would need to be large and if it was rotating it might have a passage to another universe,” he speculated. “But you couldn’t come back to our universe.”
According to this theory, then, Alfred Molina’s Doctor Octopus didn’t necessarily die in Spider-Man 2; rather, he could have been consumed by the singularity just before his death. He would then have been transported to some other location in the Multiverse – perhaps even to the MCU timeline.
Whatever route Marvel ends up heading down in regards to bringing them back, with Doc Ock and Electro on the scene again, it makes sense that Michael Keaton’s Vulture from Spider-Man: Homecoming would be strapping on his wings once more as well. By this point, we’re also pretty close to getting a Sinister Six, so who knows what other villains might make the leap?
Potential candidates to fill out the roster could be Thomas Haden Church’s Sandman, Rhys Ifans’ Lizard or even Tom Hardy’s Venom. I suspect we’re going to see a bunch of exciting announcements about Spider-Man 3 quite soon, so my advice is to watch this space.