Tobey Maguire Was Cut from Ang Lee’s Movie Because He Was... Too Famous
Here’s why Tobey Maguire was fired from Life of Pi.
Can you imagine a movie where a Hollywood A-lister's fame becomes a reason for their exit? Well, that's exactly the situation that went down with Tobey Maguire and the highly praised Life of Pi.
It's been a decade since Ang Lee's Life of Pi graced our screens. The film, based on Yann Martel's novel, is a visual masterpiece that narrates the tale of a young boy, Pi, stranded in the middle of the ocean with a Bengal tiger.
The movie was a massive hit, raking in over $600 million globally. What's intriguing is that the film achieved this feat without featuring any Hollywood biggies. But that wasn't the original plan.
Tobey Maguire was actually supposed to be in the movie at first. He was going to play the part of the author who talks to the older Pi, played by Irrfan Khan. But things took a twist, and Rafe Spall ended up taking Tobey's place.
Ang Lee revealed the reason to USA Today. He felt that Maguire's global fame was too overpowering for the role.
"I underestimated the power of stars. I love Tobey, but it's a small part, so when it's a movie star sitting there, it captures attention. It didn't really work out,” Lee said.
Back in 2012, Tobey Maguire was already a big name, thanks to his Spider-Man movies. Such immense popularity can sometimes overshadow the narrative, especially in a film where the cast is relatively lesser-known.
But hey, there's no drama in this story. Tobey Maguire was totally cool about it. He chatted with The Hollywood Reporter and basically said he's all on board with Lee's choice and loved the movie.
He said, "Ang shared a lot of the film with me, and what I saw was absolutely beautiful."
Lee reciprocated the sentiment, expressing his admiration for Maguire and hinting at potential future collaborations.
While Maguire's fans might have missed seeing him in Life of Pi, Lee's choice might have actually contributed to the movie doing well. Sometimes, it's essential to prioritize the story over star power.
And as for Maguire, he continued to shine, landing significant roles, including one in The Great Gatsby alongside his good friend, Leonardo DiCaprio. His most recent role was in 2022’s Babylon, also starring Brad Pitt and Margot Robbie.