Toby Maguire in Spiderman 3

Tobey Maguire will be donning the red, blue, and black suit once again as Spider-Man, except this time, there’s a catch. Spider-Man 4 and 5 will reportedly be shot back-to-back and because of a potentially grueling schedule, Tobey got a clause worked in to benefit being a father.

According to Times Online, the star will receive $50 million to do the two sequels and has requested that he get mornings and early evenings free so that he can spend time with his not-yet 2 year-old daughter Ruby Sweetheart. Sony’s Amy Pascal stepped in and granted the free-time, being a parent herself, after initial concerns that ALL actors would want to take time to be with their families.

On one hand, good for Tobey; he knows he’s in a comfortable situation and is taking advantage of it. These movies will no doubt gross a ton of money worldwide, and Tobey is the face of this movie franchise. He got the big paycheck and got the studio to sign off on something they normally wouldn’t. Besides, it’s not Tobey’s fault that Spider-Man 3 was such a blunder. Yes, he was hammy and looked lazy, but that was because the script was horrible and Sam Raimi seemed to lose control over his own vision. Seeing Tobey in the costume is worth an easy $50 million to Sony, even if he only has to put in a 9-5. It could be time for his stuntmen to put in some more hours.

On the other hand, this really could set a precedent. Some Hollywood couples take turns when it comes to raising the children and then acting. Maggie Gyllenhaal and Peter Sarsgaard have a situation where one goes out to act and the other stays in with the child that they have (whose name, if hyphenated, would be Gylenhaal-Sarsgaard . . . talk about some awkward double-a’s in one name). You figure if anyone would need the time to spend with their kids it would be Angelina Jolie who just had twins.

At the end of the day, though, it really doesn’t matter. If you’re a fan of Spider-Man you’ll be happy to know that Tobey’s demands are being met and there should be no reason for him to be upset on set or give a lazy performance. Personally, I think it’s time for a new Spider-Man. I’m generally against re-casting, but I think he peaked during Spider-Man 2. It would be interesting to see how a new actor would handle the role, especially since it now appears doubtful that Kirsten Dunst will return as Mary Jane Watson.

Spider-Man 4 and 5 will be filmed next year.

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