The comic blockbuster “Spider-Man” catapulted Tobey Maguire into Hollywood Olympus in the early 2000s. But in recent years it has been very quiet around the actor. What has happened there?
Tobey Maguire was one of them in the early 2000s most promising stars in Hollywood. After appearing in commercials and small supporting roles in TV series, the now 47-year-old scored his first small hit with the film “This Boy’s Life”. The drama starred the then-young actor in a small role alongside Robert De Niro and Leonardo DiCaprio, with whom Maguire has since become close friends. A few years later, Ang Lee’s film “The Ice Storm” made him better known. As a result, director Woody Allen became aware of Maguire and cast him in “Harry Mad”.
An iconic cameo in the cult flick Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas was followed by the actor’s first leading role in Pleasentville. After that it was all uphill for Maguire. With films like “God’s Work & Devil’s Contribution”, “Ride with the Devil”, “The WonderBoys” and “Seabiscuit” he established himself in Hollywood as a serious actor.
Then in 2002 came the big break: Tobey Maguire took on the title role in the acclaimed comic book blockbuster “Spider-Man” and became an overnight superstar. To this day, he is still considered by many Marvel fans to be the best incarnation of Peter Parker aka Spider-Man. But after the two sequels, which appeared in 2004 and 2007, things went well slowly downhill for Maguire.
Why was that?
Tobey Maguire has a bad reputation in Hollywood
Right from the start of his career, Tobey Maguire was considered difficult contemporary. For example, Charlize Theron complained about the tense collaboration with him during the shooting of “Gottes Werk & Teufels Contribution”. And there were also problems with “Spider-Man 2”: At the time, director Sam Raimi was very dissatisfied with Maguire’s lack of commitment to the film. In addition, the producers found the actor’s high salary demands inappropriate and almost recast the role with Jake Gyllenhaal.
To make matters worse, “Spider-Man 3” fell through with fans and critics. A fourth part with Maguire was history. The actor then had greater success with the drama Brothers, for which he was nominated for a Golden Globe for his portrayal of a traumatized soldier, and the literary adaptation The Great Gatsby. In the following years, Maguire was only seen in supporting roles (“Labor Day”) or smaller films (“Pawn Sacrifice”). He also acted as narrator in the successful animated film “Boss Baby”. But Maguire was absent from the big screen during this period.
Meanwhile he concentrated on his work as a producer and financed several films with his company Material Pictures, including “Rock of Ages” and “Good People”. Besides, Maguire cared as a professional poker player regularly made headlines as he was repeatedly involved in illegal tournaments.
Is Tobey Maguire making a comeback with Babylon?
Since 2021, however, Maguire seems to be slowly improving again. He was seen again as Peter Parker/Spider-Man in “Spider-Man: No Way Home”. The Marvel fans were thrilled – it’s not for nothing that the film grossed over 1.9 billion US dollars worldwide.
Since January 19, 2023, Maguire can also be seen in “Babylon – Rush of Ecstasy”. Oscar-winner Damien Chazelle’s three-hour epic portrays 1920s Hollywood, characterized by eccentric stars and wild parties. Maguire plays the character of James McKay, a kind of Charlie Chaplin hybrid. Alongside him are big stars like Brad Pitt and Margot Robbie.
So “Babylon” becomes Maguires comeback? The film and its appearance at least have the potential to do so…