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How Spider-Man 3 Ended Tobey Maguire’s Career

Over a decade ago, Tobey Maguire was the apple of the eye of every Hollywood studio. Fresh off the success of Sony’s Spider-Man franchise, Tobey Maguire was supposed to rule Hollywood, take the place that is now filled by actors like Brad pitt and Tom Cruise. But thanks to the stellarly lackluster Spider-Man 3, Tobey Maguire was an actor whose career waned and his legacy was lost to time. Before Spider-Man No Way Home brought him back for one last ride, Tobey Maguire’s career was essentially reduced to a shadow of its former self. Even his most ardent and loyal fans from back in those days had forgotten about him.

tobey maguire spider-man 3 dance
Tobey Maguire in Spider-Man 3

Why did the world forget the acting behemoth that is Tobey Maguire. Back in the early 2000’s, maybe not even Tom Cruise had achieved the level of success Maguire had. By the late 2000’s, Maguire had managed to squander away everything. And it is all thanks to Spider-Man 3.

Spider-Man 3 – The Movie That Sank Tobey Maguire

Venom Symbiote - Spider-Man 3
Venom Symbiote – Spider-Man 3

The first two Spider-Man movies turned Maguire into an global icon. He will always be known as the original Spider-Man to many millennials. Most of us grew up watching this guy swing from one building to another. And then in 2007, came the abominable Spider-Man 3. The first two movies did well both critically and financially, making Sony some insane amount of box office earnings. The third movie, was more of a cash grab. Cramming in so many iconic villains into one story arc did not bode well. The run time of the film seemed inadequate for a movie of such grandeur.

Sam Raimi's Spider-Man 3 Poster
Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 3 Poster

As a result, Spider-Man 3, which was supposed to be Tobey Maguire’s magnum opus, and make him the RDJ of the 2000’s, turned him into a studio pariah. Even Sam raimi agrees the movie was a mistake, in an interview with Nerdist.

“I messed up plenty with the third Spider-Man, so people hated me for years. They still hate me for it,” Raimi said. “It’s a movie that just didn’t work very well.”

Sam Raimi Himself Berates Sony For Lack Of Creative Control

Why Spider-Man 4 Was Cancelled
Why Spider-Man 4 Was Cancelled

Sam Raimi actually went on record to state that the original Spider-Man 3 script we was working on was way better. And if his words are true, Sony royally screwed up with the threequel.

“But I had worked on the story with my brother Ivan, and primarily it was a story that featured the Sandman. It was really about Peter, Mary Jane, Harry, and that new character. But when we were done, Avi Arad, my partner and the former president of Marvel at the time, said to me, Sam, you’re so, you’re not paying attention to the fans enough. You need to think about them. You’ve made two movies now with your favorite villains, and now you’re about to make another one with your favorite villains. The fans love Venom, he is the fan favorite.”

Spider-Man 4 - The Movie That Never Was
Spider-Man 4 – The Movie That Never Was

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He continues by adding:

“They really gave me a tremendous amount of control on the first two films, actually. But then there were different opinions on the third film and I didn’t really have creative control, so to speak.”

Sony Cancelled Spider-Man 4 – The Movie That Could Have Redeemed Spider-Man 3

Spider-Man 4 - Cancelled Sony Project
Spider-Man 4 – Cancelled Sony Project

After the debacle of Tobey Maguire’s Spider-Man 3, Sony halted all plans for a new Sam Raimi Spider-Man project. Spider-Man 4 was supposed to bigger, badder, and better. Spider-Man 3 was a box office success but critic ratings crucified the movie for lacking the X-Factor that made its two predecessors such iconic works of art. Concept arts for Spider-Man 4 reveal new villains and a new story for Peter Parker and his quest to save the day.

Sony's Spider-Man 4 - sam Raimi
Sony’s Spider-Man 4 – Sam Raimi

Sadly Tobey Maguire could never star in the fourth Spider-Man movie since Sony tanked the whole project. Sam Raimi and Maguire intended to redeem the franchise’s legacy with a fourth movie. sadly they never got to do it. As a result, Tobey Maguire’s last footprint in the superhero genre ended up being one of his career’s lowest notes.

Related: Oscar Isaac Reveals Major Update Regarding His Spider-Man 2099 In Across The Spider-Verse

In an interview with Vulture, Raimi explains why he was angry for Spider-Man 4 being cancelled:

“I was very unhappy with Spider-Man 3, and I wanted to make Spider-Man 4 to end on a very high note. But I couldn’t get the script together in time, due to my own failings, and I said to Sony, ‘I don’t want to make a movie that is less than great, so I think we shouldn’t make this picture. Go ahead with your reboot, which you’ve been planning anyway.'”

A String Of Controversies Were The Final Nail On The Coffin

Tobey Maguire
Tobey Maguire

How many of you knew that Tobey Maguire is a master poker player? His penchant for gambling won him earnings in six figures. But the money he won ended up being connected to a ponzi scheme (which he wasn’t aware of). And the news media shredded his remaining prestige in the movie business into pieces. Maguire’s very public but amicable divorce did not help him too.

Also Read: Spider-Man: Across The Spider-Verse Reveals Oscar Isaac’s Insane Spider-Man 2099 Powers That Rivals Miles Morales

Tobey Maguire - Producer
Tobey Maguire Becomes Hollywood Producer

Tobey Maguire’s acting days were far behind him. He then switched to the arena of movie production. It is not unusual for popular actors to switch to a career behind the camera. Maguire did just that and bagged big projects. If Clint Eastwood and John Krasinski could do it, then so can Tobey Maguire. It allowed him to be a part of Hollywood without actively participating in front of the camera.

The Amazing Spider-Man Reboot Starring Andrew Garfield Only Made Things Uglier

Andrew Garfield - Amazing Spider-Man Reboot
Andrew Garfield – Amazing Spider-Man Reboot

Sony tried to reboot the entire Spider-Man franchise by hiring Andrew Garfield as the new Spider-Man. That decision royally backfired. While a section of the fans did like Garfield, the rest of the fanbase still clamored for Sony to bring back Maguire in some form. Sony’s Amazing Spider-Man reboot only polarized and divided the fanbase, and helped shrink Tobey’s popularity with a part of his original fans jumping ship to appreciate the reboot.

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5 Ways No Way Home Confused The Fans
No Way Home really left us in a real fix

Tobey Maguire’s Spider-Man did make a comeback to the big screens in Spider-Man: No way Home. But the damage to his career was already done. Spider-Man 3 remains Tobey Maguire’s greatest shame. And that will probably never change.

Written by Bibhu Prasad Panda

With a Bachelor's in Engineering and a Master's in Marketing and Operations, Bibhu found a love for writing, working for many different websites. He joined FandomWire in July 2020 and worked his way to his current position of Content Strategist. Bibhu has been involved in operating and managing FandomWire's team of writers, diversifying into varied, exotic fields of pop culture.