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‘Spider-Man 3’ star reveals how Marvel can resurrect any dead Avenger

Published Apr 19th, 2021 10:53AM EDT
Spider-Man 3 Spoilers
Image: Sony Pictures

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Black Widow (Scarlett Johansson) and Iron Man (Robert Downey Jr.) died heroically in Avengers: Endgame, with packed theaters bursting into tears as it became clear the film wasn’t going to be a regular superhero flick. The heroes would not win without makes some enormous personal sacrifices. “Whatever it takes” was the mantra we had heard in Endgame trailers and teasers, and it certainly applied. The Avengers gave everything they had to beat Thanos, even if that meant giving up their lives so that everyone else could survive. Captain America (Chris Evans) might have survived the battle, but he retired from the team, choosing to grow old alongside the love of his life in an alternate reality.

On the flip side, the MCU has just gotten more exciting than it ever was. Massive Marvel properties like the X-Men, Deadpool, and Fantastic Four have returned home. Disney and Sony are getting along better than ever, with Spider-Man expected to appear in plenty of MCU films in the future. We’re still going to miss out on some great cross-overs, however. That’s unless Marvel does bring back Johansson, RDJ, Evans, as well as other fallen superheroes.

We’ve heard all sorts of rumors about Downey Jr. and Evans coming back to reprise their roles, and we have plenty of theories about how that can happen without Marvel ruining Endgame’s legacy. Now, a Spider-Man star who is about to appear in No Way Home just explained how Marvel could resurrect all the dead Avengers. Mind you, some spoilers follow below.

The main Spider-Man: No Way Home plot leaked a few days ago from someone who accurately identified the mysterious Falcon and the Winter Soldier cameo before Episode 5 dropped last Friday. Additionally, several other minor Marvel rumors seemed to complement the plot leak, suggesting it might be accurate. Then, we also had an interview with Doc Ock actor Alfred Molina that confirmed one of Sony’s best Spider-Man villains will return in the MCU.

We learned months ago that Molina will reprise his role from Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 2 (2004) in the MCU. It’s not just Molina who will make a comeback in No Way Home, but several other Spider-Man villains from old Sony movies are expected to pop up. On top of that, we learned that previous versions of Spider-Man, including the ones played by Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield, will show up in the film. All these rumors make No Way Home one of the most exciting Spider-Man movies ever made since the film will explore the MCU’s multiverse, where anything is possible.

The current Spider-Man, Tom Holland, kept dodging questions about his predecessors in recent interviews. But Molina practically confirmed the multiverse in his recent interview with Variety.

Spider-Man: No Way Home
Still image from Spider-Man: No Way Home title reveal video. Image source: Marvel Studios and Sony

The actor said that he was told to keep quiet on his No Way Home role when he was invited to return. “When we were shooting it, we were all under orders not to talk about it, because it was supposed to be some great big secret,” he said. “But, you know, it’s all over the internet. I actually described myself as the worst kept secret in Hollywood!”

Molina said the experience was “wonderful” even though 17 years have passed. “I now have two chins, a wattle, crow’s feet, and a slightly dodgy lower back.”

More interestingly, the actor revealed that he had asked No Way Home director Jon Watts how the movie might bring Doc Ock back since he died. Watts’s answer is the best evidence we have that Marvel can bring back dead Avengers if it fits its needs. “In this universe, no one really dies,” the director told Molina.

As we’ve come to learn in Infinity War and Endgame, that’s actually true. Loki (Tom Hiddleston) died early in Infinity War and Gamora (Zoe Saldana) followed. But Endgame brought both of them back. The difference here is that we’re looking at characters from alternate universes who have lost all the character progression we saw over the years in the MCU. The Loki we get in Loki is the same guy who lost the Battle of New York in The Avengers. And the Gamora we see in the next Guardians won’t be the same woman who fell in love with Quill. Add to that WandaVision’s Quicksilver cameo, and you’ll see that Marvel is priming us to accept different versions of the superheroes we know and love.

Molina also gave us a great No Way Home spoiler that practically confirms the film will explore the multiverse even before Marvel goes all-in with Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness. Meanwhile, it simultaneously backs up Watts claims that nobody really dies in these films.

Watts told Molina that the new movie will pick up Doc Ock’s story from the moment in the river at the end of Spider-Man 2 (2004), where the character drowns himself in the East River. Here’s that scene again:

Finally, the actor also explained that his concerns about the film were more practical. He’s now 67, so he has aged quite a bit since the 2004 Raimi film. But Watts alleviated those issues. “He just looked at me, and said, ‘Did you see what we did to Bob Downey Jr. and Sam Jackson?’” Molina recalled.

All these details indicate a clear path for Marvel to follow when it comes to bringing someone back from the dead. As long as it suits the story, Marvel could always yank different Iron Men, Black Widows, and Captains America from other universes to have the original cast reprise their roles. This would not mess with the MCU’s timeline and it wouldn’t spoil any heroic deaths from Endgame. Also, CGI de-aging tech can help with the passing of time. The same multiverse trick would also work with a certain X-Men who died in Fox’s universe.

Spider-Man: No Way Home is set to premiere on December 17th, assuming Marvel doesn’t delay its current 2021 release schedule. The first trailer should drop in the coming months. Molina’s full interview with Variety is available at this link.

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.