When Tobey Maguire nearly got fired as Spider-Man after trying to get a higher salary, Jake Gyllenhaal almost became Spidey

Actor Tobey Maguire is in semi-retirement after ending his career as Spider-Man in 2007, likely because playing the popular Marvel superhero in three films put him for life. But it’s widely rumored that the actor could return as the character in the upcoming Spider-Man: No Way Home, described by director Jon Watts in a recent interview as ambitious enough to call himself “Spider-Man: Endgame”.

The film would have the iteration of Tom Holland’s Spidey crossing the versions of Maguire and Andrew Garfield on a mind-boggling adventure through the multiverse. This would be the first time since Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 3 that Maguire will be seen in the role that made him a household name.

But did you know there was a very real possibility that his tenure as a superhero would be cut short after just one movie? In an attempt to negotiate a higher salary after the success of the first Spider-Man film, Maguire said he was injured while filming Seabiscuit and needed time before he could resume filming the second film. But Sony, which owns the rights to the character, has not cracked. Instead, the studio reportedly hired Jake Gyllenhaal as a replacement.


Jake Gyllenhaal Mysterio Jake Gyllenhaal and Tom Holland in a pic from Spider-Man: Far From Home. (Photo: J Maidment / Columbia / Marvel)

According to a 2003 Variety report, Maguire was unhappy that producer Laura Ziskin was getting more out of the first Spider-Man movie than him – $ 30 million, compared to the actor’s $ 4 million. His team released the following statement after the two met with Raimi to discuss the future: “After making two physically demanding films in a row, Tobey felt a slight discomfort in his back which is in the final stages of healing. With an April 12 start date around the corner, everyone involved wants to be sure he’s capable of doing the intense stunts. “

But Sony bluffed and told him they couldn’t afford to delay the second Spider-Man movie any longer, and made Gyllenhaal an offer. The actor, who would play villainous Mysterio in Spider-Man: Far From Home, would date Maguire co-star Kirsten Dunst at the time. Dunst, like Maguire, would return as Mary Jane Watson in Spidey’s third solo film in Holland.

Maguire had no choice but to play ball. According to Variety, representatives for Maguire told the studio that he “would behave well.” He was forced to undergo medical tests to prove his fitness and, in an interview with the Los Angeles Times, admitted that the situation had gotten to a point where he had to “look these people in the face and say, ‘I really am. sorry . I’ll do whatever it takes.

But Maguire would’ve gotten what he wanted from the start and grossed $ 17 million for Spider-Man 2, widely regarded as one of the best superhero movies of all time.


During Far From Home promotions, a Yahoo reporter asked Gyllenhaal about stories he was offered the role of Spider-Man, to which he replied, “I heard the same thing. The truth is, in the end, [Tobey Maguire is] Spider Man. There are so many roles in my career where I was against another actor, or something happened that could have happened but didn’t happen, but maybe it would have. Ultimately, my belief is that when an actor plays a character, especially in a movie, the character is theirs, and that’s it. But yes, there were discussions, he injured himself and there were discussions. There was a slew of actors [possibly up for the part], and I was one of them.

The entire incident was recreated in a story arc in the HBO Entourage series, about an up-and-coming movie star and his trials and tribulations in Hollywood. The fictional film in question was Aquaman 2, directed by James Cameron, and the replacement actor was none other than Gyllenhaal.

No Way Home, starring Zendaya, Jacob Batalon, Alfred Molina, Willem Dafoe, Jamie Foxx, Jon Favreau, Marisa Tomei and more, is slated for release in December.

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