How Tobey Maguire And The Spider-Man Crew Pulled Off That Famous Lunchroom Scene

Listen, we all have our favorite Spider-Man. For many, the obvious answer (and probably the most popular one) is Tom Holland. He's got everything Spidey needs: the sass, the quick wit, the cute but still believably nerdy thing. He danced to Rhianna that one time. Zendaya loves him. He's the golden boy of Spider-Men and for good reason. Then there are those of us (i.e. me) who celebrate the dark horse that is Andrew Garfield's Spidey. Fans of Garfield's webslinging don't really care that you think he's too good-looking to be Spider-Man. He was robbed out of making his third film, and we will never, ever get over it. Others are diehard Miles Morales (Shameik Moore) fans who truly just might be the best iteration out of all of them. But regardless of how you feel about Holland or Garfield or Moore, none of us can forget the original webhead, Tobey Maguire.

When "Spider-Man" came out in 2002, we loved it. The movie had everything from Willem Dafoe to Macy Gray. Chad Kroeger recorded that bop of a song, "Hero," that some of us (again, me) listened to relentlessly in the privacy of our bedrooms. Maguire was great as everyone's favorite wallcrawler, and even though he looks like a man well into his thirties who is still trapped in high school, we embraced him and his Spidey sense with open arms. There are a lot of memorable moments in "Spider-Man," including many impressive, acrobatic stunts and fight sequences. However, the scene that is perhaps most impressive and most likely to catapult Maguire to the top of the "Who's Your Favorite Spider-Man" list is a scene that almost didn't make it into the final cut, and it doesn't even have him suited up as Spider-Man.

Those reflexes are all-natural, baby!

That's right, folks. It's the lunch tray scene. You know the one. Peter sits alone, forlorn and broody at a lunch table. All of a sudden, a shockingly beautiful Mary Jane Watson starts to strut by carrying her delicious looking meal of green Jell-O, an apple, milk, and a super flat sandwich. Has a woman ever looked more stunning? Peter, ever the gentleman, tries to politely smile at her as she passes, but Mary Jane doesn't even acknowledge him. Cold! Still, that doesn't stop his Spidey sense from tingling as soon as he realizes MJ is in danger of slipping and falling on some spilled juice. Help her, Peter! With his newly honed reflexes, he jumps out of his seat to both catch MJ and every single piece of her falling lunch, tray included. It's definitely impressive, but it's even more impressive when you realize that Tobey Maguire actually did catch all that food himself. That's right. No CGI here! Those reflexes are all-natural, baby.

The "Spider-Man" director's commentary on the home video release, John Dykstra, special effects artist and head of the VFX team, explained (via The Independent) that it took Maguire 156 takes to get the scene right on a 16-hour day. That's 156 takes of food being dropped from above as Maguire feverishly tried to make sure all four items landed gracefully back on the tray. 

According to Kirsten Dunst, to make things a little easier for her co-star the tray itself was glued to Maguire's hand. Even so, the fact that he was willing to put up with shot after shot after shot of this insanity is impressive. At some point, getting this scene right must have become an obsession for Maguire, otherwise how do you explain the devotion? Let's not forget the fact that poor Dunst just had to stand there and look awe-struck for each attempt. What do you think they said to Maguire after each failed try to help keep his spirits up? "Don't worry, Tobey! You'll get the Jell-O next time!" Regardless, it's an unforgettable scene, one truly worthy of Maguire-Spidey worship.