How Spider-Man lost the lead role in 'Rise Of The Apes' to the Green Goblin
Casting race leads to the question: is Maguire a movie star?
It's an interesting moment for Tobey Maguire.
When he was playing Spider-Man on a regular basis, Maguire was a movie star by default. If you star in a film that makes $800 million or so worldwide, you're potentially bankable. If you star in two, you're a potential star. You star in three? That's a rare club. Maguire's done it. Three giant giant movies.
But aside from those three films, has he ever really opened a movie? I like a lot of his work. I just wrote about "Ride With The Devil" the other day, and a big part of that film's sucess is Maguire's work. He's very real, very sincere and sweet as a guy who does some brutal things during the Civil War. I'm hoping there's a Criterion Blu-ray version of "The Ice Storm" coming soon, because I love that movie. That's my favorite film of 1997, and the work of the young cast like Maguire and Christina Ricci and Elijah Wood is a big part of why I think the film is amazing. "Pleasantville" and "Wonder Boys" are both rich and interesting films I'll happily discuss with anyone at length. Films that reward return visits. So Maguire's got taste. He's capable of doing really strong and challenging work. I root for him. I like enough of what he's done to feel invested. You know how it is for some actors... you just plain like them on film.
But I do wonder... is Tobey Maguire a movie star by any conventional definition at this point?
If he's not playing Spider-Man, what is he worth at the box-office?
That is, after all, part of the definition of "movie star". If you open a movie... if your presence in the film means there's a certain level of box-office... then you're a movie star. You're bigger than the movie you're in. There are many people who appear regularly in big movies, and arguably make those big movies better, but they aren't the reason the films open or play. Jeff Goldblum was a big part of why people loved "Jurassic Park," but Jeff Goldblum isn't why people went crazy going back to the theater all summer long, or what got them in to see the film in the first place. Tobey Maguire was well-liked in the "Spider-Man" films, but the films opened and played because they were "Spider-Man" films.
Maguire may have talked himself out of a chance to test his ability to carry a big movie away from the comfort of "Spider-Man" when he entered into talks with 20th Century Fox to star in "Rise Of The Apes," the new reboot of the "Planet Of The Apes" franchise. According to HitFix sources, when Maguire came back to the table with script notes for the studio, the conversations abruptly stopped, and Fox moved quickly to close a deal with Franco, another of the final contenders for the lead role.
Movie stars have real weight when it comes to getting script changes made. The less pull you have, the less of a movie star you are. When the mere mention of script notes gets a studio to flip a switch on you, hot to cold in a flash, then they're looking at you as a replaceable part of the equation.
Will Smith? Movie star. Brad Pitt? Movie star. Tom Cruise. Still a movie star. Tom Hanks. Perhaps the most beloved movie star.
But Tobey Maguire? After this incident, I'd say no. And for Franco, this is a good move, a good next step. Franco's not a movie star, either, but he doesn't seem in any rush to prove otherwise. Franco's an actor. Just a working actor. He's gotten much better over the years, but he started out really strong on "Freaks & Geeks." He's got a big role, and a good role, in "Your Highness," which just shifted its release date from this fall to next spring. And who knows... if he strings enough of these together, then maybe Franco will find himself a full-blown movie star soon enough.
Can't get enough of Motion/Captured? Don't miss a post with daily HitFix Blog Alerts. Sign up now.
Don't miss out. Add Motion/Captured to your iGoogle, My Yahoo or My MSN experience by clicking here.
Not part of the HitFix Nation yet? Take 90 seconds and sign up today.
News From Our Partners
- FX's 'The Strain' Taps 'Alias' Mia Maestro as Female Lead FX's 'Tyrant': Ang Lee Drops out of Directing the Pilot, Cites 'Life of Pi' Exhaustion NBC's 'Siberia': New Reality-Skewing Drama Ordered for Summer
- Hear This: With “Deceptacon,” Le Tigre captured the sound of youth in a song Watch This: Walter Hill’s The Driver is all about work done well Scenic Routes: A quiet scene from The Matrix demonstrates how to make exposition compelling
- What to Watch Tonight: The Season Finales of Rectify and Hawaii Five-0 and the Series Premieres of The Goodwin Games and Motive Mad Men "The Crash" Review: Uppers Give You Wings! News Briefs: CBS Is Pulling Mike & Molly's Season Finale Due to a Tornado Storyline
- 'Star Trek Into Darkness' Takes Box-Office Crown With $84 Million 'Arrested Development' Gang: Where Are They Now? 'Star Trek Into Darkness': What's Next For J.J. Abrams And The Cast?
- The Telefile - Veep: The Episode's Best Insults The Telefile - Saturday Night Live: Straight Outta 8H The Telefile - Game of Thrones: Our Weekly Westeros Scorecard
- Ultra Music Festival Dates Announced, Tickets Go on Sale May 21 Girls' Generation's Jessica Poses With Purses in Vogue Girl [Pics] Austin Mahone vs. Jonas Brothers – Pop Clash
- Ranking the Blockbusters with Summer Movie Scorecard 2013 RT on DVD & Blu-Ray: The Last Stand and Side Effects Box Office Guru Wrapup: Star Trek Softer Than Expected at #1
- Joe Satran: Who's Winning The 'Game Of Thrones'? Andrew Jenks: Where Guns Are as Common as Cell Phones Renee Graziano: Look Before You Love
The final film in the trilogy changes the way we look at the seriesTuesday, May 21, 2013
Plus he describes how he's like his character in the filmsMonday, May 20, 2013
One of the strangest moments of my online career involved the legendary musicianMonday, May 20, 2013
Instead, he explains how he feels the new film defines the whole trilogyMonday, May 20, 2013