5 Actors Who Could Play Doc Ock In Marvel Studios’ Spider-Man

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Marvel Studios is set to give its wall-crawling flagship character a proper reboot in July’s ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming,’ and Tom Holland looks poised to deliver the best big-screen interpretation of Peter Parker yet. And that’s no offense intended to Andrew Garfield, whose turn as the webbed wonder was great but suffered from a questionable sequel. (Tobey Maguire, however, just never seemed like the kind of guy who could crack wise in the face of death.)

Speaking of the original big-screen Spidey, one villain we haven’t seen since the Sam Raimi trilogy is one of the biggest threats in the hero’s rogue gallery: Dr. Otto Octavius, AKA Dr. Octopus. While Alfred Molina’s portrayal of Otto in ‘Spider-Man 2’ was certainly memorable, it also left something wanting. Establishing a personal relationship with Peter before his villainous turn seemed a bit unnecessary, though not as unnecessary as shoe-horning Sandman in as Uncle Ben’s real killer in ‘Spider-Man 3.’ And just how menacing can a guy be after you’ve seen him extolling his appreciation of love poems to a college student?

So one thing, if nothing else, is clear: The next time Doc Ock shows up, he needs to be truly sinister. And these five guys could pull that off.

Jeff Goldblum

Jeff Goldblum Doctor Octopus

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If you’ve seen David Cronenberg’s 1986 remake of ‘The Fly,’ you already know Goldblum is no stranger to playing a mad scientist who turns himself into a monster. Couple that with the neuroses exhibited in roles like ‘Independence Day’s’ David Levinson and ‘Jurassic Park’s’ Dr. Ian Malcolm (and who can forget that creepy laugh?) and we have a winner. Bonus points for being able to rock a pair of glasses.

Rainn Wilson


Another dude who can rock some spectacles, Rainn Wilson is most commonly associated with the self-indulgence of Dwight Schrute on the U.S. version of ‘The Office.’ In Rob Zombie’s ‘House of 1,000 Corpses,’ he showed he could even make a victimized character seem like a douche to audiences, and more straight-faced roles like Paul Forney in ‘Hesher’ showed additional depth. Wilson could easily deliver a truly creepy-yet-grandiose take on Octavius.

Michael Shannon

Michael Shannon Doctor Octopus

We know he’s already played both Zod and Doomsday in ‘Man of Steel’ and ‘Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice,’ and he’s already turned down roles in both Star Wars and Marvel films due to “lack of interest.” It’s a long shot, but with an interesting enough story, it’s still possible he could be sold on such a project. Take a look at his physical appearance as Zod again and tell yourself he wouldn’t fit the part in some goggles and a trench coat.

Jimmi Simpson

Jimmi Simpson Doctor Octopus

One of ‘It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia’s’ disturbing McPoyle siblings, Simpson has also knocked the ball out of the park as creepy, paranoid hacker Gavin Orsay on ‘House of Cards.’ Somewhere between those two roles could be the Dr. Octopus fans have been waiting for.

Christoph Waltz

Christoph Waltz Doctor Octopus

Maybe you’re scratching your head right now, but why not have a guy with a name like Otto Octavius be played by a German actor? We’re imagining an insane scientist with a bit of that devilish Hans Landa cruelty and scheming, making Waltz easily our top pick for the role — as long as Marvel Studios doesn’t try to tie the character back to Hydra.

Who do you think should play the next Doc Ock? Comment below.



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Roger Riddell
Essentially Peter Parker with all the charm of Wolverine, he's a DC-based B2B journalist who occasionally writes about music and pop culture in his free time. His love for comics, metal, and videogames has also landed him gigs writing for the A.V. Club, Comic Book Resources, and Louisville Magazine. Keep him away from the whiskey, and don't ask him how much he hates the Spider-Man movies unless you're ready to hear about his overarching plot for a six-film series that would put the Dark Knight trilogy to shame.


  1. Love your choices for Doc Ock especially Rainn Wilson and Jimmi Simpson also what do you think of my choices play Doc Ock which is either Kevin Spacey, Jennie Clement, Joel Murray, Jeffery Wright, Jonah Hill, Brendan Gleeson, David Morrissey or Nonso Azonie.

    Also would you do another top five list for actors that should play spiderman villains eg Scorpion, Comeleon, Lizard, Kraven the hunter or Black Cat.

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