Tobey Maguire Called Sam Raimi's Bluff To Get Out Of A Spider-Man 2 Stunt

The Marvel Cinematic Universe's current domination of the film landscape can sometimes make it easy to forget about the earlier Marvel movies that helped pave the way for its incredible success. In an interesting twist, the auteur behind several of those films is also helming the MCU's newest feature, "Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness." I am, of course, referring to Sam Raimi, who directed all three movies in the "Spider-Man" trilogy, which began in 2002.

The first two films remain beloved, though "Spider-Man 3" definitely caused the franchise to go out with something of a whimper. This doesn't make Raimi's filmography any less adored, and the architect of movies such as "The Evil Dead" and "Drag Me to Hell" no doubt has some exciting plans up his sleeve for Benedict Cumberbatch's Master of the Mystic Arts.

Certainly one of the best pre-MCU Marvel movies and arguably one of the greatest superhero movies of all time, "Spider-Man 2" hit theaters in 2004. Tobey Maguire returned as Peter Parker, and like the first time around, the actor relished doing as many of his own stunts as possible. However, Maguire was less keen on doing one stunt in particular — so much so that he actually called out his director.

'You think this is easy, you do it!'

Although the film industry has become increasingly reliant on CGI, some directors still prefer practical effects. Sam Raimi falls into this camp, but obviously, superhero movies often require a whole lot of special effects work, especially when the audience needs to believe a character can swing through Midtown on webs. However, they need plenty of actual stunt work as well, and although "Spider-Man 2" had a talented stuntman for Tobey Maguire with Chris Daniels, the actor preferred to do as many stunts as he could. One, it turns out, was a step too far. When speaking to Vanity Fair, Raimi relayed this anecdote:

"It's funny, when we were working on 'Spider-Man 2,' I remember one day we were shooting a scene on top of a building, maybe 15 stories up, and I was yelling at Tobey, 'You gotta really get out there on the edge' — he was standing maybe a foot or two away — I told him, 'I want you to lean over the edge!' He had a safety line hooked to his back, keeping him secure. But he wouldn't do it. He said, 'No way! This is as close as I'm getting. You think this is easy, you do it!' So I put on the line and tried to do the scene, and I couldn't get any closer than 10 feet from the edge. It backfired on me. 'Okay fine," I told him. 'We'll do it your way.' I have nothing but admiration and respect for Tobey and his ability to stand on the edge of buildings."

It speaks volumes of Raimi as a director that he not only attempted what he was asking of Maguire, but also that he could admit perhaps he was asking too much. Maguire was intent on doing his own stunts, but everyone has their limits, and Raimi clearly has a sense of humor about the whole thing.

True dedication to the role

Tobey Maguire actually had some concerns about doing the stunts of "Spider-Man 2" initially due to some issues he had been having with his back. The actor was honest about his difficulties and thankfully wound up doing the scenes without further injury. Because Spider-Man is so often masked, it seems as though it would be easy for Maguire to avoid doing most of his own stunt work. Apparently, that simply wouldn't sit right with the actor. He explained to SuperHero Hype:

"Most of the time, when he's in the mask, you could use a stuntman, but in this movie the mask comes off more. There are certain things I have to do and want to do because you're bringing life into a character. I like to point to stuff in there so you could feel me in there. It's an active and physical movie. It is what it is."

Maguire also referred to his work on stunts with Chris Daniels as "a collaborative effort," relaying how familiar the stuntman was with Spidey's movements. It's clear Daniels was a tremendous help to Maguire, not only when performing stunts himself, but also when it was the actor's turn. Spider-Man is such a physically demanding role to begin with, and it's impressive that Maguire chose to inhabit the part so completely.

Despite Maguire's perfectly reasonable hesitation to look over the edge of a very tall building, the actor was obviously quite dedicated to the role. For many, he will always be Peter Parker, which is why fans were overjoyed to see him reprise the role in "Spider-Man: No Way Home." Maguire has certainly earned his spot in the Superhero Hall of Fame.