- NOTE: This article is about the incarnation of Doctor Octopus from the Sam Raimi trilogy. The mainstream version can be found here: Doctor Octopus.
This Article Contains Spoilers -
WARNING: This article contains major spoilers. If you do not wish to know vital information on plot / character elements in a story, you may not wish to read beyond this warning: We hold no responsibility for any negative effects these facts may have on your enjoyment of said media should you continue. That is all.
|“||The real crime would be not to finish what we started. We'll do it here. The power of the sun in the palm of my hand. Nothing will stand in our way! Nothing!||„|
|~ Otto Octavius, now known as "Doctor Octopus" becoming evil after he hides in his lair and reveals his plans.|
|“||I will not die a monster.||„|
|~ Otto Octavius' last and redeeming words.|
|“||Intelligence is not a privilege, it's a gift, and you use it for the good of mankind.||„|
|~ Dr. Octavius' motto to Peter Parker before his transformation into "Doctor Octopus".|
Otto Octavius, later called Doctor Octopus, is the main antagonist of the 2004 film Spider-Man 2 and will return in some capacity in the upcoming 2021 Marvel Cinematic Universe film Spider-Man: No Way Home.
He was a scientist who became possessed by his malevolent mechanical arms after an experiment with his fusion reactor funded by Harry Osborn went horribly wrong. From there, Otto turned into a dangerous super villain and the former second archenemy of Spider-Man.
He was portrayed by Alfred Molina, who also played Satipo in Raiders of the Lost Ark, Reverend Leland Drury in White Fang 2: Myth of the White Wolf, Snidely Whiplash in Dudley Do-Right, Johann Tetzel in Luther, Bishop Manuel Aringarosa in The Da Vinci Code, Professor Jeffries in Chill Out, Scooby-Doo!, Maxim Horvath in The Sorcerer's Apprentice, Ke-Pa in Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness, Destiny in Justice League Dark, Viggo Grimborn in Race to the Edge, Lasombra in Hey Arnold!: The Jungle Movie, Mr. Freeze in Harley Quinn and The Duke in Solar Opposites.
Otto Octavius is a scientist by profession who studied science together with Curt Connors. It was at university that he met his future wife Rosalie who was studying English Literature at the same time.
Otto dedicates his life towards researching and building a sustainable fusion power reactor with his wife's help. He finds funding for his project from Oscorp under the leadership of it's new head of research development, Harry Osborn.
Harry also introduces Otto to Peter Parker who was writing a paper on him for a university class, ironically taught by his colleague Dr. Curt Connors.
|“||'Doctor Octopus'. New villain in town: 'Doc Ock'.||„|
|~ J. Jonah Jameson decides on a name for the villain.|
To help him perform a sustained fusion experiment, Octavius developed a set of artificially intelligent mechanical arms, which are impervious to heat and magnetism.
Though the experiment overloads and becomes unstable, Octavius refuses to halt it, with devastating results: his wife is killed; the neural inhibitor chip which prevented the advanced AI of the arms from influencing Octavius's own mind is destroyed, and the arms are fused to his spine.
Unconscious, he is taken to a hospital to have the appendages removed, but the tentacles develop their own ability to move at will and brutally kill the surgeons, and Octavius escapes and hides out in an abandoned warehouse by the waterfront. Octavius' failed experiment left Oscorp bankrupt causing Harry much anger.
At the Bugle, Hoffman and J. Jonah Jameson discuss what to name him. Hoffman suggests "Doctor Octopus" which Jameson thinks is crap. He then suggests "Science Squid" which J.J also thinks is crap. Hoffman finally suggests the name "Doctor Strange" which J.J thinks is good, but is already taken. J.J finally settles on Hoffman's original idea (which he takes credit for himself) and decides to name him "Doctor Octopus" or "Doc Ock" for short.
At the warehouse, Octavius laments on the death of his wife. Uncontrolled, the tentacles begin corrupt Octavius' mind, playing on his vanity and ego, and he decides he must complete his experiment at any cost.
As Peter and his aunt are discussing with an accountant at a bank, Octavius, wanting to rob the bank for money to fund his experiments, arrives at the place, wearing a long brown leather duster; exposing his tentacles and ripping off the vault door. When security guards attempt to stop him, he simply throws them out of his way and starts collecting all the money. Peter then changes into Spider-Man and attempts to stop Octavius. After a short glitch in his powers, Spider-Man manages to recover and soon the two take their fight outside the bank, but Doc Ock takes Aunt May hostage. After Spider-Man rescues her, she revises her former opinion of him and realizes that he is a hero. Octavius escapes unscathed.
Allying with Harry Osborn
After acquiring funds from his bank robbery, Doctor Octopus has completed rebuilding his fusion reactor, but is still in need one final item: the tritium which fuels the reactor. He goes to Harry Osborn's penthouse for it, where Harry calls Octavius a hack. After threateningly dangling him over the edge of the Osborn mansion balcony Harry proposes a deal. Harry agrees to give Octavius all the tritium he needs in exchange for capturing Spider-Man and bringing him back to him alive. He tells Doctor Octopus that Peter will tell him how to find him, but urges him not to harm Peter.
Doctor Octopus destroys a coffee shop where Peter and Mary Jane Watson were meeting. Peter, through his spider-sense throws Mary Jane and himself out of the way of a thrown taxi, but Doctor Octopus abducts Mary Jane and tells Peter to tell Spider-Man to meet him at the West Side Market Clock Tower at 3 O'clock or he'll kill MJ.
Spider-Man arrives at the clock tower and demands to know MJ's whereabouts. He then engages Doctor Octopus in a battle, which starts off at the top of the tower and then they battle down on top of a train. During the battle, Octavius destroys the brakes of the train, forcing Spider-Man to rescue the runaway train so he can escape.
Spider-Man manages to stop the train before it can plunge over the end of the track, but at great physical exertion. He nearly falls, but the people in the train catch him and pull him up. Doctor Octopus arrives and the passengers defend Spider-Man, but his mechanical arms are too powerful for them. Doctor Octopus captures Spider-Man and delivers him to Harry as arranged. He then takes the tritium for his own. Spider-Man awakens and convinces Harry to reveal Octavius' whereabouts so he can rescue Mary Jane, learning that Octavius is rebuilding his machine and threatening the world.
Final Battle and "Demise"
|“||I will not die a monster.||„|
|~ Doctor Octopus, before bringing the fusion device on top of himself and sinking it in the river as an act of redemption for his crimes and for the death of his beloved wife Rosalie "Rosy" Octavius.|
Spider-Man finds Doctor Octopus in an abandoned warehouse on the waterfront, where he's restarted his fusion experiment. After battling with Doctor Octopus, Spider-Man manages to stun him with an electric shock. Peter then reveals his true identity to Octavius and pleads with him to stop the machine. Returned to his senses by the shock and determined to end his doomsday experiment before it causes more harm, Octavius uses his mechanical tentacles to collapse the floor of the building, successfully drowning the fusion device at the cost of his own life. He drowns in the river along with the fusion core, whilst the river water also shuts down the tentacles and the manipulative advanced AI that corrupted Octavius' mind that played on his vanity and ego all along.
While he isn't generally a malicious person when things go his way and primarily motivated by noble intentions, Doctor Octopus had all the classical traits of a narcissist: delusions of grandeur, an unhealthy obsession with success, and an inability to take any form of criticism even before his incident. Like any narcissist, he refused to come to terms with his own mistakes and shifted all his problems onto Spider-Man, and was hell-bent on recycling failed ideas under the logic they were tampered with by others rather than being flawed to begin with. He is, however, very charismatic and suave, rarely losing his temper and remaining perpetually friendly and cheerful, even in the face of his opponents. He has somewhat right-wing tendencies and values productivity. However, his desire for praise was overcome with the power of guilt and remorse, exhibited upon his failed iniital experiment, and further demonstrated in his last showdown with Spider-Man. There, he finally realized the value of the city's life outweighed his own glory and even his own life.
Production of the character
David Duchovny, Liev Schreiber, Robert De Niro, Sam Neill, Ed Harris, and Chris Cooper were all considered for the role of Doctor Octopus, but ultimately role went to Alfred Molina. Apparently Sam Raimi decided to cast Alfred Molina as Octavius after his wife watched the film Frida which Molina had starred in. Molina was a huge fan of the Marvel Comics since childhood. Cooper would later be cast as Norman Osborn in 2014's The Amazing Spider-Man 2.
- Chris Cooper, Robert De Niro, David Duchovny, Ed Harris, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Liev Schreiber and Sam Neill were all considered for the role of Otto Octavius/Dr. Octopus, but ultimately role went to Alfred Molina. Robert De Niro was also considered for the role of the Green Goblin in the original movie, but ultimately role went to Willem Dafoe, and Cooper would later play Norman Osborn in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014).
- Some fans think Doctor Octopus is the secondary antagonist of Spider-Man 2 (2004), with Harry Osborn as the main antagonist. But he is more dangerous than Harry, so he is the real main antagonist, making Harry the film's central antagonist.
- Doctor Octopus was originally planned to appear in Spider-Man and team up with Green Goblin, but he wasn't included because Sam Raimi thought it "wouldn't do the movie justice to have a third origin in there".
- The mechanical tentacles were each made up of 76 individual pieces. Each one of them were controlled by four people, who rehearsed each scene with Alfred Molina to get a more natural sense of movement. The sound designers chose not to use servo sound effects, to complete the illusion that the tentacles are a part of Doctor Octopus' body.
- Molina actually gave names to his four mechanical tentacles (Larry, Harry, Flo, and Moe). Flo was the top right tentacle, because it was operated by a female grip and that particular tentacle was the most motherly, which removed his sunglasses and gave him sips of his drink.
- In the earlier scripts of Iron Man, Doc Ock was planned to be mentioned by Tony Stark, but this reference was scrapped in the final version.
- In Spider-Man 3, Doc Ock makes a non-physical cameo in one of J. Jonah Jameson's newspapers.
- In the video game adaptation of Spider-Man 2, Doc Ock has many henchmen. However, in the movie, he works alone, without any henchman, like the other villains of the Spider-Man trilogy.
- Unlike in the comic books and other universe, Doc Ock often says "we" with his arms, which bears similarities to Venom with the symbiote.
- Doctor Octopus is the only antagonist in the trilogy to not damage Spider-Man's mask; instead Spider-Man removed it in order to get Doc Ock to remember him.
- The train fight between Doc Ock and Spider-Man was the idea of director Sam Raimi and the first major sequence to be filmed.
- Alfred Molina lost some weight for the role of Doctor Octopus, considering he had had to gain some for the part of Diego Rivera in Frida (2002). He said he wanted Doc Ock to have the build of a "1950s weightlifter".
- Alfred Molina is a big fan of Marvel Comics, and was excited about his role in the film.
- Alfred Molina thought the crew on Spider-Man 2 (2004) were the hardest working group of people he's ever worked with.
- Putting knives inside Doc Ock's tentacles was of Sam Raimi's idea, and never featured in the comics. Raimi nicknamed it 'the death knife'.
- Michael Chabon submitted a draft screenplay which featured a younger Doc Ock becoming infatuated with Mary Jane. In Chabon's script, Octavius is the creator of the genetically modified spider that bites Peter Parker. Producer Avi Arad rejected the screenplay, largely because he didn't like the idea of another love triangle.
- In the script, Doctor Octopus isn't totally happy with what's happened to him, but whenever his old self resurfaces the tentacles are quick to take control again. For instance, they force him to rob the bank not only to fund his experiments, but also to test out the tentacles. They can also distract people, like snake charming, but this isn't made clear in the film.
- One of the things that attracted Alfred Molina to the character of Doctor Octopus was his twisted, sardonic sense of humour.
- Sam Raimi chose Alfred Molina after Raimi's wife watched Frida.
- Doc Ock's strength comes from his arms but it's never explained how he can take superhuman punches from Spider-Man or a desk to the chest.
- Though this can be explained as Spider-Man has been confirmed to hold back his punches, especially against human enemies.
- Doc Ock's pier lab is supposed to be an old building that is slowly sinking into the river (exterior shots show that one end is already partially collapsed). For the interior set, the floor and ceiling were tilted at skewed angles to each other - which is extremely unusual and difficult to construct safely.
- Otto says after the accident, "My Rosie's dead... my dream is dead... and these monstrous things should be at the bottom of the river... along with me." foreshadowing the ending.
- The extreme close-up shot of Dr. Octopus sinking in water is entirely digital. The SFX team hailed it as the most detailed rendition of a human face (for its time) that was purely done in CG.
- In the script, Doc Ock tapped Peter's phone lines. That was how he knew he'd find him at a café with Mary Jane.
- According to the novelization, Doc Ock thinks that he's helping Aunt May by giving her a quick death, rather than a slow one of old age.
- In the original script, a man called Jack Albright kidnaps Otto Octavius in a giant robot. He gets saved by Spider-Man. Albright wanted to know more about Otto's experiments. He later set himself on fire with incendiary cigarettes and fell to his death off a ledge.
- It has been recently announced that Alfred Molina will be portraying Doctor Octopus again in the upcoming film Spider-Man: No Way Home, set within the Marvel Cinematic Universe. While it was initially assumed that Molina could be playing a different version of Doc Ock original from the MCU (like the case of J. Jonah Jameson), Molina confirmed in April 2021 that the version he plays in the MCU is the same one from the Raimi films, continuing his story after he sunk into the East River.