Jake Gyllenhaal recalls almost replacing Tobey Maguire in Spider-Man 2

Jake Gyllenhaal reflects on the time he came close to replacing Tobey Maguire as Spider-Man.

Spider-Man: Far From Home will mark Jake Gyllenhaal’s Marvel Cinematic Universe debut, but it won’t be the first time he’s been linked to a Marvel or Spider-Man film. Years ago, he almost took over for Tobey Magurie in Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man 2 after Maguire suffered an injury on the set of Seabiscuit.  But looking back, what does the actor think about not getting to play the web-slinger?

Speaking with Yahoo! Movies, Gyllenhaal described the situation as “typical Hollywood maneuvering.” He noted that while it’s common to be in contention with someone for a role, once someone has played the part, it becomes their’s:

“There are so many roles in my career where I was up against another actor, or something happened that possibly could’ve happened but didn’t happen but maybe it would have. Eventually my belief is when an actor’s played a character, particularly in a movie, the character’s theirs, and that’s that.”

But Gyllenhaal further confirmed that Maguire was indeed hurt and that he, along with other actors, was being considered as a replacement:

“But yeah he hurt himself and there was talk. And there was a slew of actors [possibly up for the part], and I was one of them.”

In recent years, Gyllenhaal has mostly steered away from big-budget films. His last blockbuster before Spider-Man: Far From Home was 2010’s Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time, an adaptation of the video of the same name. While the film didn’t reach the box office or critical heights Disney hoped for, Gyllenhaal did learn from the experience:

“I think I learned a lot from that movie in that I spend a lot of time trying to be very thoughtful about the roles that I pick and why I’m picking them. And you’re bound to slip up and be like, ‘That wasn’t right for me,’ or ‘That didn’t fit perfectly.’ There have been a number of roles like that. And then a number of roles that do.”

Many believed Prince of Persia contributed to Gyllenhaal’s decision to avoid blockbuster films for the past several years, and, now, we have confirmation of that. Regardless, it sounds as though he was able to mine some positives from working on the film and, based on his past comments, he’s enjoyed his time with Marvel Studios.

Watching Gyllenhaal suit up as Spider-Man could have changed the outlook of Sam Raimi’s sequel. But, as even he pointed out, Maguire had already made the role his own by that point and, as a result, fans had come to identify him with the character. However, it’s still fun to think about what Gyllenhaal would have done in the role.