Tom Holland might be Peter Parker, but to many he’ll never truly be Spider-Man. That web slinging moniker is lovingly reserved for Tobey Maguire, the godfather of the modern Marvel movie. Fans around the world vehemently defend the California native and nostalgically look back on his career as an abiding childhood influence.
With the original Sam Raimi Spider-Man trilogy wrapping up in 2007, Maguire’s career downshifted into relative non-existence. Yet with the rumored addition of Maguire’s version of the wall-crawling hero in Spider-Man: No Way Home, people have begun to wonder: Where has Tobey Maguire been for the past fourteen years?
Here’s what happened to Tobey Maguire.
The 43-year-old father of two has remained busy since his career-defining role in the early 2000’s, but being a good parent can be a full-time gig. That alone is enough to pull someone out of the spotlight, and it certainly seems like Maguire has taken the time to raise his children. If anything else, can you fault him for wanting to be present in the lives of his kids?
On top of raising a family, we’ve got to face the facts. Maguire was typecast in Spider-Man. With a role as all-encompassing as the friendly neighborhood do-gooder, how could he be seen as any other character by fans? If he were to play an equally prominent character in another massive film, most would just say: “What’s Spider-Man doing in this?”
Looking at the acting behind the actor, Maguire’s technique at times lacks depth. He plays Spider-Man perfectly, but outside of that, his performances can occasionally miss the mark. He doesn’t give off the bravado of an action star, the gravitas of a Shakespearean performer, or even the comedic timing of an entrenched comic icon. He definitely has the range to exist in these roles, but Hollywood has never given him a chance to shine as brightly as some have hoped. That’s show business for you.
Not to mention that since his big break, the actor hasn’t picked up many roles that separate him from Spidey over the years. Sure, he was in Seabiscuit and The Great Gatsby, but although both were well-received critically, they underperformed at the box office. Maguire has done some television and other lesser-known film roles, but nothing to garner real attention again.
This led the actor to step behind the camera and start his own production company, Material Pictures, in 2012. Maguire co-produced films like Good People and Pawn Sacrifice, both solid movies in their own right, along with a number of other production credits here and there. However, those efforts were never enough to blast him back into the mainstream.
Frankly, though, did he ever want to be catapulted back into the spotlight? Perhaps Maguire has been enjoying the craft of storytelling without all the public fanfare. Maybe, after swinging to such great heights once in his career, all he ever wanted from then on was to plant his feet firmly on the ground.