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Tobey Maguire Talks The 20-Year Legacy of His Turn as Peter Parker

tobeyt maguire as peter parker in spider-man 2.

For the majority of the 21st century, we’ve been blessed with stories about Peter Parker in the live-action form. Starting with Tobey Maguire in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man in 2002 all the way to the release of Spider-Man: No Way Home in December of 2021, we’ve watched Peter Parker incarnated as three cinematic versions of the character played by three actors. It’s been a glorious run, and getting to see Maguire, Andrew Garfield, and Tom Holland all stand together in their Spidey suits in No Way Home is something that will mean the world to fans old and new for years to come.

All of the Spider-Man actors recently sat down for an interview with Deadline where they talked about the series as a whole as well as bringing all three Spider-Man threads together in No Way Home. In the interview, actor Tobey Maguire, who originated the big-screen Spidey, reflected on returning to the role of Peter Parker after over 14 years and the lasting power of the series over the decades.

“I was just grateful every day. Really, it was such a rich experience and, as the guys have touched on, the kind of sharing of something and the brotherhood of it. It was just so rich, emotional. I’m not sitting there conceptually thinking about that all the time, but I would have moments where that kind of stuff would hit me. You know, day to day, it was just a beautiful kind of unfolding of this story and these relationships,” Maguire said. “And the way those films and characters evolved in those films are unique, and then to bring all of that together, including all of our supervillains and all of that, it was pretty wild to witness the immensity of all of this history coming together and being put into what Andrew was saying is this standalone, worthwhile story.”

The staying power of Spider-Man

There are plenty of reasons why we keep going back to Peter Parker and why the Spider-Man legacy endures. There are other characters who take on the mantle of Spider-Man that we desperately want to see in live-action form (we loved No Way Home’s hat-tip to Miles Morales). Watching all of the “Peters” to date unite and for the older ones to resolve some of their personal conflicts and help their own villains was a refreshing and satisfying end. It may be that the book is closed on the earlier “Peters,” or it may be that they’re moving into even more possibilities in future properties.

But the future of the Spider-Man series is definitely in the hands of those who have taken the mantle after Peter. It’s the time for Miles Morales or Gwen Stacy or even Jessica Drew to have their time in the live-action limelight as well as Peter Parker. While we love Peter and we love the movies we’ve been given, it is the Spider-Man suit that reminds us all that anyone can be a hero.

Miles in Spider-Man into the spider-verse gif

Maguire talking about each of the different versions of Peter is fascinating because we did get three distinct stories with them. His Peter was all about the responsibility he felt as New York’s hero, Garfield’s felt guilty and at a loss because of the death of Gwen, and Holland’s was trying to figure out what being a hero meant to him and those he loved. We got to see each of these characters understand their purpose and it excites me to see where the next 20 years will take Spider-Man in many new and destined-to-be-iconic forms.

(image: Marvel Entertainment)

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Rachel Leishman (She/Her) is an Assistant Editor at the Mary Sue. A writer her whole life but professionally starting back in 2016 who loves all things movies, TV, and classic rock. Resident Spider-Man expert, official Leslie Knope, actually Yelena Belova. Wanda Maximoff has never done anything wrong in her life. Star Wars makes her very happy. New York writer with a passion for all things nerdy. Yes, she has a Pedro Pascal podcast. And also a Harrison Ford one.