What the Hell Happened to Tobey Maguire?
In 2004, Maguire took up competitive poker. He has been tutored by professional poker player Daniel Negreanu and has competed in several tournaments in which he finished in the money. According to professional poker player Phil Hellmuth, Maguire has won over $10 million dollars playing poker in Hollywood. In 2007, Maguire played in the World Series of Poker. He was eliminated on the fourth day of the tournament and placed 292nd. His prize money totaled $39,445.00.
So-called “Poker princess” Molly Bloom write about Maguire and his high-stakes Hollywood gambling in her 2014 memoir. Bloom was an LA waitress when she began hosting poker matches at the Viper Room club. She ran into legal trouble for demanding a share of the pot instead of tips. Following an FBI investigation into her dealings, Bloom was sentenced to one year’s probation and a fine of $1,000. Her memoir has been optioned to be made into a movie. I mention all of that to establish Bloom’s credibility. She has a vested interest in making sure her stories are juicy.
According to Bloom, Maguire was “the best player, and the absolute worst loser.” She describes Maguire as being temperamental and cheap. According to Bloom, Maguire would only play if he could use his $17,000 Shuffle Master machine. One day when Bloom returned the machine to Maguire along with his winnings, he suggested that he should be charging the other players for the use of his machine.
I laughed. Surely he was joking. He couldn’t possibly be serious about charging rent for a machine he insisted that we use, from the guys whose money he was taking every week. But he was as serious as death, and I quickly stopped laughing. ‘O.K.,’ I squeaked. ‘Um, how much?’ ‘Two hundred dollars.’ I smiled to conceal my surprise. ‘I’m sure that will be fine. No problem,’ I said.
Bloom recounts a story in which Maguire tried to humiliate her. She claims he held up a $1,000 poker chip and demanded that she “bark like a seal who wants a fish” in order to earn it. Bloom says she tried to laugh off the ridiculous offer, but Maguire wouldn’t let up:
I’m not kidding. What’s wrong? You’re too rich now? You won’t bark for a thousand dollars? Wowwww. . . you must be really rich. . . . C’mon,’ he said, holding the chip above my head. ‘BARK.’ ‘No,’ I said quietly. ‘No?’ he asked. ‘Tobey,’ I said, ‘I’m not going to bark like a seal. Keep your chip. He gave me an icy look, dropped the chip on the table, and tried to laugh it off, but he was visibly angry. When he left, the room was buzzing.
According to Bloom, her relationship with Maguire continued to deteriorate. Maguire brought up how much money she was making with greater frequency. Eventually, he suggested restructuring the game so that her earnings would be capped.
The only reason this game was still running was that I had searched far and wide to recruit new blood and maintain relationships so that Tobey could take their money. Now he had the balls to suggest that I figure out a way to cap my own salary.
The release date for Spider-man 3 was announced before Spider-man 2 even opened. This time, there was no doubt Maguire would be back.
In this one, Peter faces off against Thomas Hayden Church as the shape-shifting Sandman who it is revealed is actually responsible for killing his Uncle Ben. He also finds a black Spider-man suit that brings out his dark side. He ends up struggling against his desire to avenge his uncle. Meanwhile, Harry finds out that Peter is responsible for the death of his father. He sets about getting revenge as well. Topher Grace was brought on board to play the popular villain, Venom and Bryce Dallas Howard was cast as love interest Gwen Stacy.
Raimi had been vocally opposed to using Venom for years. He said he objected to the character’s “lack of humanity”. He had wanted to use Sandman and another old school Spider-man villain for the sequel. Rumors swirled that Ben Kingsley was in negotiations to play the Vulture. But producer Avi Arad convinced Raimi that fans wanted to see Venom.
As characters continued to be added to the script, there was talk of splitting the story into two movies. According to the screenwriter, the idea was nixed when no one could come up with a satisfactory climax. The fact that none of the regulars were signed to make a fourth movie was probably also a consideration.
Following the critical and commercial success of the first two Spider-man films, expectations for the final movie in the trilogy were high. Unfortunately, Spider-man 3 was not nearly as well-received as the first two movies. Critics complained that the script was over-stuffed with characters and subplots. Fans were upset to see their favorite character turned into some kind of hipster doofus. Under the influence of an alien symbiote, Peter got in touch with his musical side:
But Raimi’s Spider-musical wasn’t done yet. He followed up his 70’s strut with a dance scene at a jazz club:
Raimi himself eventually admitted that Spider-man 3 “just didn’t work very well.” He took full blame for the movie’s short-comings:
I messed up plenty with the third Spider-Man, so people hated me for years — they still hate me for it.