When fans got a look at the trailer for “Morbius,” starring Jared Leto as the titular bloodsucker, they noticed a brief appearance by another Jared: “Chernobyl” powerhouse Jared Harris. And, for some reason, many of them assumed that he would be playing Doctor Octopus, one of Spider-Man’s chief villains. (We blame that Michael Keaton cameo at the end of the trailer.) Well, Harris was asked about the theory at the recent SAG Awards (where he was nominated for his work for “Chernobyl”) and he answered definitively.
Variety posed the question to the actor, who said, “No.” While he didn’t elaborate on who his character was, exactly, just describing the film in broad terms. But he did say that he doesn’t play that iconic Spider-Man baddie. “I love the imagination that the fans have, it’s exciting for me to think about the imagination that that fans have. But yeah no, it’s not,” Harris told the trade.
Doctor Otto Octavius aka Doctor Octopus was memorably portrayed by Alfred Molina in Sam Raimi’s “Spider-Man 2,” and more recently appeared as Olivia “Liv” Octavius, voiced by Kathryn Hahn, in the terrific animated feature “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse.” While we have yet to see the character pop up in the current, Marvel Cinematic Universe-adjacent Spider-Man films, it’s only a matter of time before the tentacled villain makes his way into the main series of films. We’ll know who Harris is actually playing soon enough, since “Morbius” opens on July 31, 2020.