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Like everything else in Phil Lord and Chris Miller’s “Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse,” the decision to change Doc Ock to Olivia Octavius turned the animated adventure upside down. Co-director Bob Persichetti proposed the gender-switched role as a subversive twist; when the production cast Kathryn Hahn (“Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation”) as her voice, Sony Animation finally believed that she would make a formidable villain.
“The freedom we had with an alt universe was an opportunity to lean into something very interesting with a female,” Persichetti said. “Early on, we had aspirations to get Kathryn Hahn to be a really smart, idiosyncratic, quirky but dangerous villain. And we fell in love with her voice and the way she played her, and then we just had to build a visualization of the two sides of her. And that was where the real fun took place.”
“Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse”
For writer and co-director Rodney Rothman, Olivia not only provided the key to cracking open the multiverse, but she also overshadowed the main villain, hot-headed Kingpin (Liev Schreiber).
Ock - Guy - Take - Riff - Dude
“The original Ock was a guy, but an unusual take as a riff on The Dude from ‘The Big Lebowski,” said Rothman. “He worked at Caltech and was a hippie scientist, and [we looked at] the documentary ‘Particle Fever.’ That’s where we got the idea of using the Large Hadron Collider as the inspiration for our multiverse machine.
“But because we were being challenged by every aspect of the movie, Bob’s take on having a female Ock made sense to me as worth trying. She wants to discover and conquer the multiverse.”
Moment - Production - Designer - Justin - Thompson
The eureka moment came when production designer Justin Thompson introduced research about soft robotics (highly compliant materials similar to living organisms). “This idea about the tech made her so fresh and so different from what everybody had seen before...
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