I loved the older Peter Parker in Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse. Maybe it’s because this Peter Parker is exactly my age, and it’s nice to have a Spidey who’s life hasn’t worked out quite as he envisioned as he’s grown older and chubbier. (Yes, this Spidey has a dad bod.)

The Spider-Men of the comics (and the previous movies) have never really been allowed to get older, so it is fun and fresh to see a Spidey who’s been through the ringer. Things rarely work out well for Peter Parker; it’s very easy to see, say Tobey Maguire’s Peter from Sam Raimi’s Spider-Man Trilogy, winding up exactly where Spider-Verse’s Peter Parker is at the beginning of this film.

It’s so easy, in fact, that I wondered: Did the filmmakers ever consider casting Tobey Maguire as the voice of the older Peter Parker? Maguire is 43, the perfect age to play Mid-Life Crisis Spidey and, of course, still identified throughout the world with the role. So when I interviewed Spider-Verse directors Bob Perischetti, Peter Ramsey, and Rodney Rothman last week, I asked them that question.

It turns out, it was an option they discussed. Here’s what Rodney Rothman said in response to my question about whether there was ever any consideration of putting Maguire in that part:

There was. There were many thoughts about where we could put Tobey Maguire and others. I think after this film, those thoughts might have a little more traction. But before this movie, and introducing the idea of the “Spider-Verse” to the audience, I think everybody was afraid that it would just really confuse people. But wow, it would have been fun.

His answer makes sense. I also don’t think you want to, at least initially, tie this movie too closely to the older ones; it should be allowed to be its own, new thing without the baggage of the older films and their continuity. (The original Raimi Spider-Man is closing in on 20 years old, believe it or not.) And Spider-Verse is already confusing enough without having to make it fit seamlessly with one of the Spider-Men of the past.

But I also think Rothman is right that if Spider-Verse gets a sequel (rumor is one is already in the works, along with a potential Spider-Gwen spinoff) that’d be a perfect place to reintroduce Maguire’s Peter, or Andrew Garfield’s, or Tom Holland’s — or all of them. The fun part about the Spider-Verse is that there is literally no limit the number of crossovers you could create. We’ll have more from our interview with the directors of Into the Spider-Verse next week; the film opens on December 14.

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