Watch Willem Dafoe Nail the Role of Doctor Octopus Without Even Trying in a Rare Behind The Scenes Footage From Spider-Man 2

Originally played by Alfred Molina, Dafoe performed in a much more cheesy way in the footage.

william-dafoe-and-dr-octopus

Willem Dafoe has been synonymous with the Green Goblin after starring as the character in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy. The actor was the primary antagonist in the first film and made small cameos in subsequent films. He fully returned to the role in the MCU’s Spider-Man: No Way Home, which saw him as the primary antagonist again.

While Dafoe is perfect as the Green Goblin, many fans have also hoped to see him in other villainous roles, primarily the Joker. However, fans got a glimpse of what he might have been like if he played Doctor Octopus in Spider-Man 2 instead of Alfred Molina in a rare behind-the-scenes footage from the Raimi directorial.

Willem Dafoe Becomes Doctor Octopus For a Day In Spider-Man 2

Willem Dafoe as Norman Osbourne in Spider-Man

Willem Dafoe in Spider-Man

Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy boasted many wonderful villains from the web crawler’s rogues gallery. The films saw classic antagonists such as the Green Goblin, Venom, Sandman, and Doctor Octopus. All the characters were also mostly perfectly cast (with Topher Grace as Venom being an exception).

It might be impossible to see anyone else perfect the role of Dr. Otto Octavius a.k.a Doctor Octopus than Alfred Molina in Spider-Man 2. The legendary actor brought sincerity, tragedy, craziness, and intelligence to the role that could easily have turned one-dimensional. Molina’s signature look in the film has become iconic.

Alfred Molina's Doctor Octopus fights Spider-Man in an action scene from Spider-Man 2

Alfred Molina in Spider-Man 2

Though Molina seems to be the only Doc Ock in the multiverse after his appearance in Spider-Man: No Way Home, fans got to see a possible alternative when actor Willem Dafoe crashed the sets of Spider-Man 2 and performed a scene as the villain. In a rare behind-the-scenes footage of the film, Dafoe can be seen attaching the mechanical arms and performing the scene where Octavius demonstrates his experiment.

The footage also reveals that director Sam Raimi brought Molina to the set on the pretext of giving him a reference to how to perform the scene. Molina seems to be innocently following the orders of his director, after which he breaks down into laughter upon seeing Willem Dafoe’s cheesy performance as the mad scientist.

Sam Raimi Cast Alfred Molina After His Wife Recommended Him

Alfred Molina's signature look as Doc Ock in Spider-Man 2

A still from Spider-Man 2

Alfred Molina’s performance as Doctor Octopus is one of the most memorable parts of Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man trilogy. Spider-Man 2 is often considered to be the best of the trilogy and is among some of the greatest superhero films ever made and much of the credit for it goes to Molina’s performance as the tragically fallen genius scientist.

While a prominent theater actor, Molina was also a known name on British TV and had also had his breakthrough with a small role in the opening of Raiders of the Lost Ark. Molina mentioned in an interview with Vanity Fair that he was not sure whether a superhero film would be right for him as it was a very physical role.

He also mentioned that he was considered for the role after Sam Raimi’s wife saw him in Frida, for which he had received a BAFTA nomination. He said, “The story goes that Sam Raimi’s wife happened to say to him: ‘There’s this actor in Frida. He looks interesting’. And Sam being a smart man, listened to his wife, as all smart men do, and he called me in.”

The actor also mentioned that producer Avi Arad was instrumental in getting him excited for the project as he had suggested the sunglasses while they were doing a look test for Doc Ock.

Spider-Man 2 is streaming on Netflix.

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