WARNING: Spoilers for ‘Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse’ ahead! Turn back now if you want to go into the new movie fresh!
One of the biggest surprises of ‘Spider-Man: Into the Spider-verse’ was the reveal of the new female Doc Ock during the big Alchemax heist scene, yet fans would be very surprised to learn that the directors of the movie actually had some trouble bringing that character to life, both in coming up with the idea, and then selling it to the studio. According to co-director Bob Persichetti while speaking recently about the movie and the decision to go with a female Doc Ock:
“We pitched it, and they [the studio execs] were like, ‘No.’ I will say, it was the one moment where I was like, ‘Why are you saying no?’… This is the one time where it took a long time to get certain people to come around, and go, ‘Okay, it can be a female’…I think in the end everybody was very happy with what it turned out to be. And that sequence at Alchemax, I think it shockingly became a lot of people’s favorite sequence. There’s so much good in there, and she brings so much interesting performance to the table.”
He went on to explain the origin of the idea, claiming that early drafts had a more recognizable version of Doc Ock:
“Early on it was a male version… he was probably one of the least developed characters in the first draft of the script. He was kind of inspired by The Dude, and Alchemax was actually in Big Sur. There was a really crazy, old version where they came all the way to California.”
Fortunately for us all, Persichetti and company were particularly inspired by the woman who would end up doing the voice of the character:
“Honestly, I will say: Kathryn Hahn, I love her deeply, and I was watching something with her, and I was like, ‘You know, it would be really cool if we made a female Doc Ock.’ It’d be really cool. And who could carry both sides of it? Who can be the ridiculous, funny, buttoned-up scientist that you would never expect, and then who could be this weirdly sinister, threatening, highly intelligent supervillain?”
Producers Phil Lord and Chris Miller also had a lot to say about the newest incarnation of Doc Ock, practically gushing about her during a recent interview with Slashfilm:
Lord: I’m really excited for people to see that and discover it. We just were trying to think of as many ways to do things new. We had the benefit of the [Sam] Raimi movies kind of cornering us into trying to think of another take on it.
Miller: It’s an alternate universe, so any chance we had to say, “This is sort of like the thing you know, but slightly different,” we were trying to take that at every turn. How can we make a Doc Ock that isn’t the Doc Ock you know? It seemed like a fun twist, and Kathryn Hahn is amazing in everything that she does, and she brought a lot of personality to it, so it was great.
Lord: Everything about her incarnation of Doc is different, down to the way her tentacles work. They’re pneumatic, like plastic, bubbly arms.
Personally, I thought she was a welcome addition to the franchise, and managed to carry on the tradition and style of Doc Ock perfectly for this movie. It felt just right with the idea of there being many different versions and incarnations of all of these characters across the multiverse and pushed the story along just right when her villainy was revealed, so I applaud the decision.
What did you think of Olivia Octavius and the decision to make her female in the movie? Did you even think twice about it? Or did you wish you would have seen the classic version of the character? Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments below!