Date: 14th May 2003

Dropped Spider-Man star 'had to plead for the role'

Tobey Maguire has told how he pleaded with Hollywood producers to be reinstated as Spider-Man after he was dropped because of a bad back.

Columbia Pictures hired a replacement for the role after the injury jeopardised filming for the sequel to last year's box office blockbuster.

Maguire, 27, said he wrongly assumed the directors would make special provisions for his condition.

Rather than speaking with the producers himself about his painful herniated disc, the actor sent his medical adviser to discuss the problem with them in March.

The studio reacted by dropping Maguire, replacing him with Jake Gyllenhaal, who played Jennifer Aniston's love interest in The Good Girl.

The powerful Hollywood father of his girlfriend, Jennifer Meyer, helped Maguire get the part back.

Ron Meyer, the head of Universal, convinced the actor that he was making a huge mistake in letting go of the role without a fight, and lobbied to have him reinstated.

Maguire had to undergo a physical examination that involved swinging from a harness before he was allowed to take the role again.

The sequel to Spider-Man (2002) is due to be released next summer. The first film made 510 million worldwide.

Source: Press Release