You're going to make poor Peter Parker cry again. He already wasn't feeling so good. Turns out, the middle-aged Peter Parker of Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse could've been voiced by former Spider-Man actor Tobey Maguire, who is now 43. Co-director Rodney Rothman even admitted it would've been a fun idea:
There were many thoughts about where we could put Tobey Maguire and others. I think after this film, those thoughts might have a little more traction. But before this movie, and introducing the idea of the "Spider-Verse" to the audience, I think everybody was afraid that it would just really confuse people. But wow, it would have been fun.
I'm not sure how that would confuse people instead of just being a fun tie-in, but I defer to the filmmakers' expertise. By all accounts, the movie turned out spectacularly with New Girl star Jake Johnson in the role of older mentor Peter Parker. But since there are several other Spider-Men in the animated movie -- including Nicolas Cage as Spider-Man Noir -- it does seem like they could've found a place for Tobey Maguire, if he was interested.
Rodney Rothman's comment to ScreenCrush was not the first time Tobey Maguire's Spider-Man trilogy was connected to the Spider-Verse.
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse writer Phil Lord previously said they figured this version of Peter Parker was about the same age as Tobey Maguire's Spider-Man in the Sam Raimi movies. From there, they wondered what his point-of-view would be for the job, and wanted to give him a situation that he hadn't been in before -- like being the older, wiser mentor.
Spider-Verse producer Chris Miller added that the Peter Parker of the new film is an amalgam of all the pop culture Spider-Man stars:
So there's elements of the Homecoming Tom Holland Spider-Man, of an Andrew Garfield Spider-Man, of the Tobey Maguire Spider-Man, of Spider-Man from various comics and TV shows. And sort of in this universe the Spider-Man that comes to Miles' world is one that looks similar to but is not exactly the same as the ones that you know. And so, that's why all of those plots are similar, but there's a twist to them.
Phil Lord referenced a twist on Tobey Maguire's famous upside-down kiss in the rain with Kirsten Dunst's M.J. So it really would've been fun -- and not really confusing -- to have Tobey Maguire voice the older Peter Parker. Maguire doesn't act as much as he used to, but one of his most recent roles was a voice role as the narrator and Adult Tim of The Boss Baby. If he could do that, he could do this.
Sam Raimi's Spider-Man trilogy started in 2002 and continued with Spider-Man 2 in 2004 and Spider-Man 3 in 2007. Tobey Maguire's run was followed by Andrew Garfield in the role of teen Peter Parker for two of his own Amazing Spider-Man films, before Tom Holland picked up the teen role in the Sony/Marvel Cinematic Universe films. And now we have Miles Morales as Spider-Man in a "Spider-Verse" with parallel dimensions.
Thousands of fans recently petitioned Marvel to give both Tobey Maguire and Andrew Garfield cameos (very specific cameos) in Tom Holland's second solo film, Spider-Man: Far From Home. There's clearly still a lot of love out there for the previous Spider-Man actors, and enthusiasm for a shared universe where they all ... deliver pizza to each other.
Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse opens in theaters next Friday, December 14. Spider-Man: Far From Home is scheduled to open in theaters July 5, 2019, and we're meant to see first footage from that movie this weekend.