Behind-the-Scenes Spider-Man Tragedy That Ruined Tobey Maguire's Career

Behind-the-Scenes Spider-Man Tragedy That Ruined Tobey Maguire's Career
Image credit: Columbia Pictures

Tobey Maguire can rightfully be considered one of the biggest stars of the 1990s and early 2000s. He was best known for Sam Raimi's Spider-Man trilogy, but since then he's been a rare guest on the big and small screen.

The real breakthrough that made Tobey Maguire a truly famous actor came in 2002. That was the year he first donned a red suit with a web and became the first on-screen Spider-Man.

The movie was a breakthrough: for a long time, no one took comic book movies seriously, but Spider-Man and the X-Men, released two years earlier, showed that superheroes should not be looked down upon.

The success was cemented by the second movie which is still considered one of the best superhero movies of all time. The actor’s salary continued to rise, as did Tobey Maguire's ambitions.

Spider-Man 3 became a turning point in the actor's career. Sam Raimi, the constant director of the series, admitted that by the third movie he was tired and exhausted, which didn’t help in creating interesting stories.

Tobey Maguire aggravated the situation even more: he diligently squeezed the studio for more and more money, complained of constant back pain and demanded that doctors always be on the set to monitor his health.

Behind-the-Scenes Spider-Man Tragedy That Ruined Tobey Maguire's Career - image 1

It got to the point of absurdity – the doctor literally checked how many steps the actor could take without hurting his back, which slowed down production considerably.

The actor's behavior became so unbearable that there was talk of replacing Tobey Maguire with Jake Gyllenhaal, but it never happened.

At the same time, Tobey became addicted to gambling – he was a frequent visitor to underground casinos. Tobey often won, but then was sued by a number of players, to whom Tobey had to return some of the money.

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The planned fourth Spider-Man didn’t happen for a number of reasons, and one of them was definitely not the most pleasant behavior of the main star.

Maguire tried to restore his ruined career outside of superhero movies: the first post-Spider-Man appearance was the movie Brothers, and then The Great Gatsby – Tobey's friend, Leonardo DiCaprio, literally had to persuade the director to cast him in the movie.

The conflict with the creators of Spider-Man, and then the failure of the movie in which he played the main role of his life, was such a blow to the actor that he has not yet fully returned to Hollywood 16 years after the release of the last Spider-Man installment.