‘Spider-Man’: The Grim Reason Tobey Maguire’s Peter Parker Nearly Died in the First Movie

With all the buzz and excitement around the latest Marvel installment, Spider-Man: No Way Home, fans are knee-deep in conversations online. Finding Marvel Cinematic Universe Easter eggs and re-examining past storylines is part of the fun for most fans. But in one online thread, the speculation leads to a grim realization about Tobey Maguire’s Peter Parker. Some looked back at the first series of movies with Maguire at the helm. And true MCU fans realized Tobey Maguire’s character would have likely died in the first Spider-Man movie.

How Tobey Maguire’s ‘Spider-Man’ almost died

Actor Tobey Maguire waves during the 'Spider-Man 3' premiere on April 25, 2007, in Berlin, Germany.
Actor Tobey Maguire waves during the ‘Spider-Man 3’ premiere on April 25, 2007, in Berlin, Germany. | Andreas Rentz/Getty Images

If you want to understand the complex MCU, you can usually find everything you need to know in the Reddit community. And with the Spider-Man trio of actors returning to the big screen in Spider-Man: No Way Home, fans are diving back into the archives to re-examine past storylines. One such thread comes to a dismal conclusion when exploring Maguire’s depiction of Peter Parker in Spider-Man.

Peter Parker is just a boy, that is until he’s bitten by a radioactive spider while on a tour of a corporate science lab. The Reddit conversation picks up here with Spider-Man (2002). Citing the “radioactive spider bit the size of a golf ball,” Peter Parker refused to seek medical treatment. As the thread explains, his decision to “sleep it off” and not go to the doctor is because he lives in America. And it points to a much graver perspective.

The tongue-in-cheek reasons why fans say he didn’t go to the doctor

In real life, if you sustained a spider bite resulting in any adverse reaction, you’d likely head straight for the doctor’s office. If your spider bite looked like Peter’s in the first Spider-Man, you’d probably waste no time getting to the emergency room. But as Reddit fans pointed out, Peter chose to ignore the wound. But why?

“Peter knows that his rich friend Harry would be happy to pay the bills,” came one reply, citing James Franco’s character. “He cannot rely on others for anything,” chimed in another. But many agreed on the dismal reality of expensive healthcare in the United States as the issue.

A spider bite like Peter Parker’s should be fatal. But in the movie world, it would have meant Spider-Man died before he even got started. And while we’re all glad he recovered from the injury, not seeking medical treatment, as most people would, only reinforces the over-arching and grim truth about American culture and society.

The ‘Spider-Man’ story continues 

Fans already love Spider-Man. And now they’re all excited about the prospect of having all three of the Spider-Man actors back in action again. Some speculate Maguire and Andrew Garfield could continue to make appearances. Maguire, especially, appears on board. Fans want Spider-Man 4 and are collectively rooting for Maguire to team up with original Spider-Man director Sam Raimi, who helmed the 2022 MCU flick Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness

Maguire was disappointed when Sony curbed Spider-Man 4 years ago. The actor felt Peter Parker’s story hadn’t appropriately concluded. With the excitement around Spider-Man: No Way Home, maybe he’ll get his chance to web sling again.

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