Even though it only appeared on screen for a small fraction of the movie, the spider that bites Peter Parker in “Spider-Man” clearly went through the wringer to land the part. For its human co-star and the person it worked with during the big scene, Tobey Maguire, earning the role of Spider-Man was no walk in the park. All these years later, it’s impossible not to think of the webhead when thinking of Maguire, but as “Spider-Man” was coming together, Sony Pictures higher-ups reportedly weren’t too keen on the young actor.
“The studio wasn’t sold on me immediately,” Maguire shared during a 2002 appearance on “The Howard Stern Show.” In response, Maguire and Sam Raimi went out and shot footage to prove to the studio that they had their Spider-Man right in front of them. They put together a more formal audition, and while it was strong, Sony wanted to see Maguire take on an action scene. Once again, Maguire and Raimi got to work, coming up with an action sequence that displayed Maguire’s ability to handle such scenes and his impressive physique. At long last, Sony approved of Maguire’s casting.
Evidently, regardless of whether you’re a human or an arachnid, scoring a spot in a “Spider-Man” movie is no easy feat.