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Tobey Maguire’s Spider-Man audition looks like a Bruce Lee movie

Tobey Maguire at the Spider-Man 2 Los Angeles Premiere (Photo: Chris Polk/FilmMagic/Getty Images)

In the midst of all the various Spider-Man hoopla surrounding the latest incarnation of the Marvel hero premiering this weekend (including, but not at all limited to, Spider-Man porn), comes this nugget of nostalgia from two franchises ago. Today The Hollywood Reporter posted this small snippet from Tobey Maguire’s screen test before his first Spider-Man film in 2002.

Even though the clip is barely over a minute, we can discern a lot: It’s a dark take on the hero, a clear indicator of the film’s director, Sam Raimi. Whoever is standing in for the thugs in the movie went method, dropping a lot of F-bombs that wouldn’t have wound up in the final PG-13-rated production. But most of all: Tobey Maguire is absolutely ripped, and his shirtless self in dark pants resembles an inspired martial fighter like Bruce Lee, especially when he fiercely takes on the thugs in hand-to-hand combat—no webbing in sight. Even though Tom Holland’s current Spidey is a sunny version of the web-slinger, this clip reminds us of the hero’s more brutal, violent side. Which certainly helps explain some, if not all, of Spider-Man 3.


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