LIFE BEYOND SPIDER-MAN
By Lee Parham
You may know him as the first actor to play Peter Parker/Spider-Man on the big screen, but where has Tobey Maguire’s career led him beyond playing the web-slinger?
In 2002, a young Tobey Maguire received the role of a lifetime as Marvel’s first actor to play Spider-Man in a blockbuster film.
Spider-Man took the world by storm, reinventing the comic book genre and introducing a new generation of fans to the friendly neighborhood superhero.
Maguire reprised his role for the sequel in 2004’s Spider-Man 2, often considered the best Spider-Man film ever made, and one of the greatest comic book movies of all time.
The actor completed his trilogy of Spider-Man films in 2007 with Spider-Man 3. While the movie is considered the worst of the trilogy for its messiness, it still managed to break box office records.
A fourth Spider-Man movie, featuring Maguire as Peter Parker and Sam Raimi returning to helm, was once in the works, but the studio opted to reboot the franchise with 2012’s The Amazing Spider-Man.
Maguire inevitably found more work in big productions with a gig as high profile as Spider-Man under his belt.
A year after his debut as the Marvel superhero, Tobey was the lead in equine sports biopic Seabiscuit as Red Pollard, the iconic horse’s jockey. The film was nominated for Best Picture at the Oscars.
In 2006 Maguire starred alongside Hollywood heavyweights George Clooney and Cate Blanchett in The Good German from director Steven Soderbergh, but the film was poorly received.
After Spider-Man 3, Maguire made a turn to comedy with a brief cameo appearance in 2008’s Tropic Thunder, where he played himself.
Arguably, his highest acclaim as an actor came in 2009 with Brothers, a film about Maguire’s character struggling with post-traumatic stress. He received a Golden Globe nomination for his performance.
A few years later, Maguire had the opportunity to play another legendary book character, this time Nick Carraway, the narrator of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s iconic The Great Gatsby.
Maguire went toe-to-toe with Leonardo DiCaprio, Carey Mulligan, and Joel Edgerton in a film that received a mixed reception from fans and critics.
A year later, Maguire was the lead in the biographical film Pawn Sacrifice about famous chess player Bobby Fischer. After this movie was released, Tobey would take a break from acting.
Besides some voiceover work, the actor hasn’t appeared in a film since 2014. However, it’s been heavily rumored that he’ll reprise his role as Spider-Man in Spider-Man: No Way Home.
Maguire will also make a comeback in Babylon, a period piece drama set in the golden age of Hollywood from Oscar-winning director Damien Chazelle.
Tobey Maguire will undoubtedly always be remembered for his performance as Peter Parker/Spider-Man, but the actor has certainly displayed his abilities outside the realm of comic book movies.