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Hard to Believe Into the Spider-Verse’s Perfect Doc Ock Was Almost a Big Lebowski-Like Man

Doctor Olivia Octavius observes Spider-Man in a still from Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.

When Kathryn Hahn voiced the ever menacing Olivia Octavius in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, it was a beautifully fun twist that many of us did not see coming. As long as I’ve been a fan of Spider-Man, Doc Ock has been a man with a weird bowl cut and multiple mechanical limbs.

Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse flipped that idea and gave us Olivia “Liv” Octavius. Her friends call her “Liv,” and you know who called her Liv in the movie? Aunt May. But that’s beside the point. Her enemies call her Doc Ock, and the moment her little green limbs emerged, I fell in love with this take on the character.

During the movie’s Quarantine Watch Party hosted by Brandon Davis and, screenwriter Rodney Rothman shared a tidbit about their Doc Ock that I, honestly, did not see coming.

My favorite reply to this tweet is the man who said he never read a comic but saw Spider-Man 2 and played a game and Doc Ock was a man there, so he won’t be watching Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. The joke’s on him. Spider-Verse is a perfect movie.

But what this means is that Bob Persichetti had our best interests at heart and stopped this Big Lebowski-esque Doc Ock. (I wonder if that guy who was mad about gender swapping would be mad about completely changing the character in any other way, or if it’s just gender swapping he has a problem with. Hmmmm.)

At first, I was suddenly reminded of men and their obsession with the Dude from The Big Lebowski, and that pretty much explained why this was ever an idea. But the reality is that, from the start, they were taking Doc Ock in a new and exciting direction. Would I have loved this Dude-like version of Doc Ock? Probably, because at least it wouldn’t be a carbon copy of the character we’ve seen time and time again, but I’m much happier with the one we ultimately got.

What’s beautiful about comic book movies is that they give us the option to re-envision these characters, and yes, I know there are purists out there who hate changes to the comics they love, but bringing these characters to life in new ways gets more fans involved. So many kids are going to look at Liv Ock and fall in love with her version of Doc Ock, just like my generation fell in love with Alfred Molina’s take on him.

The idea of not having Kathryn Hahn as Liv is sad to me because all I want now is Kathryn Hahn taking on a live-action version someday. A new and refreshing take on one of Spider-Man’s most famous foes is okay, and it helps that Spider-Verse‘s Doc Ock is … perfect.

(image: Marvel Entertainment)

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Resident Spider-Man expert, official Leslie Knope, actually Yelena Belova. Wanda Maximoff has never done anything wrong in her life. New York writer with a passion for all things nerdy. Yes, she has a Pedro Pascal podcast.