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the doctor is in

Spider-Man to reportedly bring back Alfred Molina as Doctor Octopus

Could the next Spider-Man movie be taking us into the Spider-Verse?

Alfred Molina is set to return as Doctor Octopus in the upcoming third Spider-Man movie starring Tom Holland, The Hollywood Reporter revealed on Tuesday. Molina originally played the villain in 2004's Spider-Man 2.

The return of Molina as Doctor Octopus was especially notable because his version of the character originated in an entirely different Spider-Man film series, which revolved around Tobey Maguire as Spider-Man rather than Holland. Previously, it was reported that Jamie Foxx would return as Electro, a character he played in The Amazing Spider-Man 2, which again took place in a separate Spider-Man universe, that one featuring Andrew Garfield as Spider-Man.

That makes three different Spider-Man universes that this upcoming film will apparently be drawing from, and already, 2019's Spider-Man: Far From Home grabbed an actor from the same movie series as Molina's character: J. K. Simmons returned as J. Jonah Jameson.

It's always possible that both Molina and Foxx will be portraying different versions of the same characters from the previous movies, which just happen to be played by the same actors as last time. But there's also speculation that the film could actually involve multiple Spider-Man movie universes crossing over, similar to the 2018 animated film Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse — potentially allowing Garfield and Maguire to swing into action once again.