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Tobey Maguire was fired as Spider-Man after faking injury to secure bigger salary

Tobey Maguire’s performance became the blueprint of every cinematic Spider-Man. (Photo: Sony Pictures)

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Tobey Maguire was fired as Spider-Man after faking injury to secure bigger salary

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After the success of Spider-Man in 2002, Tobey Maguire became one of the most well-known actors. He then apparently sought a pay raise, but things didn’t go as planned, so he pretended to be injured. This did not go well, and Maguire was on the verge of being replaced by a different actor.

Maguire, who received $4 million for the film, demanded a raise for the sequel. However, he had no idea that his negotiating techniques would backfire as Sony allegedly fired him and approached Jake Gyllenhaal to fill the role.

It is widely speculated that the actor will reprise his role in the next Spider-Man: No Way Home, which director Jon Watts described in a recent interview as audacious enough to be dubbed “Spider-Man: Endgame.”

In a mind-bending voyage through the multiverse, Tom Holland’s Spidey will apparently cross paths with Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield’s incarnations. Maguire will be seen in the role that made him a household name for the first time since Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 3.

Sony was preparing a Spider-Man sequel in 2003, a year after the original. Tobey Maguire brought his doctor to a meeting with Sam Raimi and Laura Ziskin, the film’s director and producer, claiming that he was wounded while making Seabiscuit and would be unable to undertake dangerous stunts in the Spider-Man sequel.

“After doing two physically demanding films in a row, Tobey has experienced mild discomfort in his back, which is in the final stages of healing,” his publicist said in a statement. “With an April 12 start date around the corner, everyone involved wants to be certain he is able to do the intense stunts.”

According to a 2003 Variety story, Maguire was displeased that Ziskin made more money from the first picture than he did: over $30 million.

But Sony called his bluff, telling him that they couldn’t afford to wait any longer for the second Spider-Man film, and making an offer to Gyllenhaal. At the time, the actor was said to be dating Maguire’s co-star Kirsten Dunst, who would go on to play the evil Mysterio in Spider-Man: Far From Home. Dunst will also reprise her role as Mary Jane Watson in Holland’s third solo Spider-Man film.

Maguire has always stated that he suffers from back problems. He did acknowledge that he had to apologize to Spider-Man’s creators. Tobey Maguire remarked that there came a time when he had to look the producers in the eyes and say, “I’ll do whatever it takes.” After that, he reportedly made $17 million for Spider-Man 2.

Maguire had no choice but to participate. His representatives reportedly promised the studio that he would ‘behave himself,’ according to Variety. He was forced to take medical tests to establish his fitness, and he revealed in an interview with the Los Angeles Times that he had to “look these people in the face and say, ‘I’m really sorry. I’m going to do whatever it takes.’”

Maguire, for one, has always  maintained that the reports about this being a negotiation tactic were ‘ridiculous.’

The incident was reenacted in a season of HBO’s Entourage, in which the actor protagonist attempted a similar stunt and was set to be replaced by Gyllenhaal in a sequel to James Cameron’s Aquaman.

A Yahoo reporter informed Gyllenhaal during the marketing of Far From Home that they’d heard he was in the running to replace Maguire years ago, to which Gyllenhaal replied, “I heard the same thing. The truth of the matter is, in the end, [Tobey Maguire is] Spider-Man. There are so many roles in my career where I was up against another actor, or there was something happened that possibly could’ve happened but didn’t happen but maybe it would have. Eventually my belief is when an actor’s played a character, particularly in a movie, the character’s theirs, and that’s that. But yeah there was talk, he hurt himself and there was talk. There was a slew of actors [possibly up for the part], and I was one of them.”

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