Tobey Maguire, Natalie Portman, and Jake Gyllenhaal Starred Together in an Intense War Movie Before Joining the MCU

Before Jake Gyllenhaal, Tobey Maguire, and Natalie Portman joined the Marvel Cinematic Universe, they starred together in a very different type of film from Lionsgate. In the 2009 psychological drama war movie, Brothers starred the three actors in an intense story about coming home from the war in Afghanistan. While many fans might think of Spider-Man first for Tobey Maguire, war movies have earned him more accolades from fans and critics. Some claim that the Tobey Maguire movie Brothers is his best performance with co-stars Portman and Jake Gyllenhaal.

2009 'Brothers' actors Natalie Portman and Tobey Maguire
Natalie Portman and Tobey Maguire | BILLY FARRELL/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

‘Brothers’ cast Tobey Maguire as a veteran with PTSD in the intense war movie

Brothers released on December 4, 2009, starring Maguire, Portman, and Gyllenhaal. The movie came from director Jim Sheridan and writer David Benioff and was an adaptation of a Danish film.

Maguire played Captain Sam Cahill, a war veteran who returns home with PTSD. Gyllenhaal stars opposite Maguire as his brother, Tommy, while Natalie Portman plays Tobey Maguire’s wife in the film, Grace.

After enemy forces shot Sam Cahill down, the US military then declared him dead. However, enemies captured and tortured him along with another soldier, Joe Willis (Patrick Flueger).

The intense war drama film did not get the highest reviews, but the Tobey Maguire veteran performance in the movie stood out. It even earned him several award nominations.

Tobey Maguire, Natalie Portman, and Jake Gyllenhaal played the lead characters in ‘Brothers’ before they all joined the MCU

Fans of superhero movies might not have kept up with Tobey Maguire’s movies about war or career.

However, before Gyllenhaal played Mysterio in Spider-Man: Far From Home, before Maguire returned as Peter Parker in Spider-Man: No Way Home, and before Portman starred alongside Thor (Chris Hemsworth) as Jane Foster, they all joined the cast of Brothers.

While Maguire and Gyllenhaal both appeared in Tom Holland’s Spider-Man: No Way Home, they never acted in the same scene. Gyllenhaal’s Mysterio only appeared in the video from Spider-Man: Far From Home at the very beginning.

Portman’s Jane Foster has been largely absent from the MCU since Thor: The Dark World with a brief cameo in Avengers: Endgame.

Spider-Man: No Way Home focuses attention back on Maguire. Fans started revisiting Tobey Maguire’s Brothers from 2009 in what they believe to be his best performance.

The ‘Spider-Man’ actor did not expect any award nominations

A year after Robert Downey Jr. kicked off the MCU with Iron Man, Maguire then stepped into his most dramatic role in Brothers. Fans and critics praised it, and it even earned multiple award nominations.

“I was with my wife and my son Otis, who is seven months old, and my daughter Ruby was sleeping, and a friend was over, and we’re watching the Golden Globes nominations,” Tobey Maguire said about his Golden Globe Award nomination (via SoundOcean).

Tobey Maguire, wife, Jennifer Meyer, at the time, his kids, and friends all sat down to watch the awards. Suddenly, Maguire heard his name.

“Actually, a friend of ours had been nominated, and we were celebrating that, and then, we were just watching, and then, they read my name,” Maguire said. “I couldn’t even quite hear my whole name get out because my friend and my wife started yelling.”

While he gave his all in the performance, he did expect a pat on the back or anything. However, whether he stars in the Sam Raimi Spider-Man trilogy or Brothers, he gave it his all.

“It was a very exciting moment. I was really surprised, I had no expectations of that at all,” Maguire said. “It’s a thrill.”

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