When you involve time travel in a TV show or movie, almost anything is possible. Whereas sometimes, whatever happened, happened, other times, a shift in one thing can create a domino effect. And, judging by the trailer for Spider-Man: No Way Home, that's what happens in the movie.
The trailer features Doctor Octopus, also known as Doc Ock, even though he died in one of the Tobey Maguire Spider-Man movies. Clearly, history is being rewritten in some way.
But what does this mean for Doc Ock? And, furthermore, for those who aren't familiar with the Spider-Man trilogy from the early 2000s, how did Doc Ock originally die? Of course all that matters now is that he's back and possibly ready to wreak havoc again. But there's still a lot to unpack about his return and what it means for the Marvel Cinematic Universe as a whole.
How did Doc Ock die in 'Spider-Man 2'?
Otto Octavius first appears in 2004's Spider-Man 2 as a well-meaning scientist. He creates a renewable energy source which he believes will help mankind, and early in the movie, Peter Parker befriends him. The demonstration of this energy source goes wrong, however, and Otto's wife is killed in the process.
When the metal arms used to touch the energy source are fused with Otto's spine, he slowly becomes Doc Ock. At first, he doesn't want to be evil, but he's corrupted by the arms attached to his body.
Toward the end of the movie, Doc Ock works out his plan to harness even more energy in his machine, even though it proves dangerous to the city. He and Spider-Man have one final showdown, during which Spider-Man is unmasked.
As Peter, he convinces Doc Ock to do the right thing. And as Doc Ock admits he doesn't want to die a villain, he takes the energy device into a river to detonate it and sacrifices himself in the process.
Doc Ock's death allowed him to redeem himself.
Although Doc Ock dies in Spider-Man 2, he does in a way that redeems him. He spends the majority of the movie as a big bad, but because he sacrifices himself in the end, his humanity wins out.
It makes his return as Doc Ock, rather than Otto Ocatvius, in 2021's Spider-Man: No Way Home that much more curious for fans who already saw him die.
How can Doc Ock return in 'Spider-Man: No Way Home'?
Alfred Molina, who played Doc Ock in Spider-Man 2 in 2004, plays his same character in No Way Home. In the 2021 Spider-Man movie, Peter enlists Doctor Strange's help to reverse the revelation of his identity as Spider-Man.
But in doing so, things go wrong and the fragile Multiverse allows other characters to spill into Peter's world as we know it in this franchise.
Despite Doc Ock's death appearing legit in Spider-Man 2 in 2004, this glitch could change all that. But most fans probably aren't worried about too many specifics since this means an epic crossover movie event.
Alfred Molina told Variety that Spider-Man: No Way Home director Jon Watts told him, "In this universe, no one really dies."
Apparently, that includes Doc Ock.