While Marvel still won’t confirm whether or not Tobey Maguire will be returning to either his blue-and-red or black Spider-Man outfit, we know for sure his time staying strictly behind the camera is coming to an end. Next year, Maguire will appear on screen in a feature film for the first time in eight years.
As reported by Movie Web, Tobey Maguire has signed on to play an undisclosed role in 2022’s Babylon, and he’s hardly alone. The upcoming film boasts a cast that makes the word “ensemble” seem far too small, including Brad Pitt, Samara Weaving, Jean Smart, Margot Robbie, Luke Haas, Eric Roberts, Flea, Li Jin Li, Spike Jonze, and many more. There aren’t a lot of details available yet about Babylon, though according to Movie Web, the film will be about the transition from the silent film era into talkies.
Movie Web also claims that while the IMDb page for Babylon doesn’t list any role for Tobey Maguire — nor does it list names for most of the leading cast — that at one point he was listed as playing real-life producer Irving Thalberg. Babylon is being written and directed by Damien Chazelle, known for films like the 2014 psychological drama Whiplash and the 2018 Neil Armstrong biopic First Man.
The same year Maguire’s old Spider-Man co-star J.K. Simmons was putting pro wrestlers to shame by tossing a folding chair at Miles Teller’s head, Tobey Maguire made what would be his final on-screen film appearance for at least seven years. He played famous chess prodigy Bobby Fischer in 2014’s Pawn Sacrifice. While Tobey Maguire lent his voice to the narration of the 2017 animated comedy The Boss Baby, he’s otherwise been completely absent from any feature film’s cast since Pawn Sacrifice.
The news of Tobey Maguire returning to the big screen comes amidst a veritable storm of rumors that have been swirling practically all year that both Maguire and Andrew Garfield appearing in the upcoming sequel Spider-Man: No Way Home. Both actors played the heroic webhead in non-MCU films, feeding the speculation that not only will they star in No Way Home, but that they will play versions of Spider-Man from different corners of Marvel’s fictional multiverse. With the multiverse coming into focus in Disney+ series like Loki and What If…?, reports are in that actors from previous non-MCU Spider-Man films like Alfred Molina and Jamie Foxx will reprise their villainous roles. And fans still waiting for a No Way Home trailer with less than five months to go from release day, Maguire’s casting in Babylon promises to only add fuel to the speculation.
Since putting acting on the back burner, Tobey Maguire has been building a reputation behind the camera as a producer. One of his earliest producer credits is for the 2012 musical comedy Rock of Ages, and in 2014 he produced his only two acting projects that year — Pawn Sacrifice and the IFC miniseries The Spoils of Babylon. He also worked on the 2019 drama The Best of Enemies, and the unexpected 2021 action vehicle for Bob Odenkirk, Nobody. He was also set to produce the sixth Die Hard film McClane, until Disney scooped it out of development limbo and chucked it into oblivion.