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Here's how much Tobey Maguire made from playing Spider-Man

He may be Spider-Man no more, but original cinematic wall-crawler Tobey Maguire will always have stacks of cash to remember the experience by.

The star of Sam Raimi's original Spider-Man series made a pretty penny from his time in the red and blue tights, at a time when superhero movies weren't yet the dominant force at the worldwide box office. Today, he has an eye-watering net worth of around $75 million dollars — so, just how much did those three seminal comic book flicks contribute to that total? Let's dig in.

First, it's worth remembering that when Maguire was cast in the role in 2000, superhero movies were about the furthest thing from a sure bet. The template for the genre had just been established earlier that year, when Bryan Singer's X-Men hit theaters and showed audiences and critics alike that comic book flicks could respect their source material as opposed to falling back on winking camp, make stars out of relative unknowns like Hugh Jackman, and kick butt all the way to the bank — but, as deep as Spidey's fan base has always been, much of the film's potential audience was leery over Maguire's casting. 

This fandom was just beginning to make its presence felt on the internet in those days, and the backlash against Spider-Tobey was among the first of its kind. To his credit, the actor took it in stride, telling Entertainment Weekly at the time, "I look forward to constantly changing people's opinion of me. I think that's the fun of it." 

Of course, it all worked out pretty well; even to this day, there exists a sizable contingent of Spidey fans who insist that Maguire's onscreen portrayal of Peter Parker was the best one. It probably didn't hurt his confidence levels that for tackling the role, he was paid a respectable $4 million dollars — not bad for a little-known actor starring in a high-profile genre film, the success of which was in no way guaranteed.

Released in 2002, Spider-Man set another benchmark for superhero films, winning over critics and fans on its way to a staggering $821 million dollar worldwide gross. The movie's success guaranteed Maguire much, much bigger paychecks for the next two installments — but before he could collect, he had to overcome a major roadblock.

During the filming of 2003's Seabiscuit, Maguire sustained a back injury that left his ability to perform the stunt work required for Spider-Man 2 in question. The actor took a page from the pro sports playbook and essentially threatened studio Sony Pictures with a holdout, whereupon two things happened: the release date for Spider-Man 2 was pushed back from May 7, 2004, to July 2; and the studio's brass immediately met with Jake Gyllenhaal to discuss the possibility of taking over for Maguire, sending the latter into a panic.

Suddenly, the star — who admitted to the Los Angeles Times in 2003 that he had overestimated his importance to the production — became a great deal more accommodating, sending his doctor to work with the flick's stunt coordinators to smooth over the rough spots and firing the agent who had advised him on his course of action. Maguire, of course, got back to work, and the very public brouhaha was even alluded to in Spider-Man 2, as Spidey got up from a rough fall complaining about his aching back. Everyone had a good laugh, but the star very nearly missed out on a titanic paycheck — he was paid $32.5 million dollars for starring in Spider-Man 2 and 2007's Spider-Man 3. (Gyllenhaal, incidentally, finally found his way into the franchise in 2019 with his appearance as Mysterio in Spider-Man: Far From Home.)

All told, that brings Maguire's total for his three turns as the web-slinger to $36.5 million dollars — nearly half of his total net worth today. By contrast, Andrew Garfield — who was cast in the role when Sony decided to reboot the series after Raimi's Spider-Man 4 ran out of gas — was paid only $500,000 to star in 2012's The Amazing Spider-Man, a comparatively paltry sum. We know what you're thinking: what about current Spidey Tom Holland, whose version of the character has appeared in no fewer than four billion-dollar-plus grossing films in the Marvel Cinematic Universe? We can really only hazard a guess, as Marvel Studios is notoriously stingy with details of its stars' contracts. We do know, however, that his current net worth is estimated at only around $4 million dollars — meaning that Tobey Maguire is, by far, the highest-paid screen Spider-Man of all time.

Regardless of how you think his performance measured up compared to those who would follow, Maguire's legacy as the original live-action Spider-Man is forever secure — as is the actor himself, financially, thanks to the whopping sums he commanded for the last two films in particular. The debate over the best screen Spidey will likely rage on for as long as the character continues to appear in movies (which is to say, forever), but there can be no debate as to who clocked the most cold cash sporting the red-and-blue tights — and for the foreseeable future, at least, Maguire reigns supreme.