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Feature: Spider-Man 3

What lies beneath?

Star Tobey Maguire itells us how it felt to embrace the web-slinger’s dark side and why this might be his last time in the role…

When you are the star of a film franchise that has so far taken more than $1.5 billion at the global box office, and the latest film in that series is one of the year’s most highly anticipated action events, you may well be forgiven for being just a teensy bit cocky. Yet there doesn’t appear to be the slightest trace of arrogance, or even over-confidence, emanating from Tobey Maguire when he meets Film Review to chat about the imminent release of Spider-Man 3. Instead, the 31-year-old actor is surprisingly modest about his screen achievements as the Marvel Comics hero.

Perhaps, as he talks of the challenges he faced in continuing the franchise, it is his intention to avoid the banana skin of beating the drum too loudly for a movie for which the expectation is already sky high. But on the basis of the Spider-Man 3 footage that we have been allowed to see, the young actor should have no worries. This movie looks as though it has once again lifted the bar on the action sequences, and has the juicy bonus of a plot that’s deeper, darker and even more fascinating than the previous two Spider-Man hits.

In this third instalment, there are even more goodies designed to enthral fans of the franchise while the film develops the theme of revenge, as Spidey’s alter ego Peter Parker is even more determined to bring the killer of his Uncle Ben to justice. As this element of the plot continues, Spider-Man also battles a couple of impressive villains in the shape of Sandman – played by Thomas Haden Church of Sideways fame – and Venom, who is portrayed by Topher Grace. On top of these all-out clashes, there’s also the fascinating tussle that Spidey has within himself after an alien presence exposes the buried dark side of the superhero.

And, as if all that wasn’t enough to get your juices flowing, Spider-Man 3 also features a love triangle as Peter Parker finds two beautiful girls vying for his affections; rising actress Mary Jane Watson – again played by Kirsten Dunst – and newcomer Gwen Stacy (Bryce Dallas Howard).

Maguire smiles and nods in agreement when it’s suggested that fans will be particularly delighted that, in his third big screen adventure, Spider-Man will be facing not just a horde of colourful villains, but also a tug of love and a psychological struggle that comes from within.

“That’s great, and it will be a lot of fun,” agrees Maguire. “We’re always trying to bring everything back to the characters and to have the story interconnected. That’s why I say that the greatest challenge is to make one cohesive story from all these parts. But all the parts are better and were more fun to do.”

In fact, the star goes on to acknowledge that it’s the deliciously bad guys who have contributed a great deal to the continuing success of the Spider-Man adventures. “Willem [Dafoe] did a great job [as the Green Goblin] and Doc Ock [played by Alfred Molina] was a great villain, but there are many characters in this one to play off, and that’s good.”

by John Millar

Read the full interview and much, much more on Spider-Man 3 in
Film Review (Jun)

Photo © Sony Pictures Entertainment
Feature © Visual Imagination 2007. Not for reproduction

Taken from
Film Review (Jun), see below for ordering options
Film Review (Jun)
#683, June 2007
ships from Apr 18 2007
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