Yet that’s what happened with upcoming Oscar hopeful Life of Pi, directed by Ang Lee, who gave Maguire two of his earliest starring roles in The Ice Storm (1997) and Ride With the Devil (1999).
Their latest partnership, which had Maguire filming a brief role as a writer in Lee’s adaptation of the Yann Martel bestseller, was interrupted this month when the filmmaker announced that he’d snipped out Maguire’s performance in Pi and replaced it with one by another actor.
Who took Tobey Maguire’s slice of Pi?
Rafe Spall, who played a scientist in Ridley Scott’s Prometheus and the milquetoast boyfriend of Anne Hathaway’s character in One Day, was cast in the role that Maguire played after the former Spider-Man star was considered “too famous,” according to The Hollywood Reporter.
Maguire not only accepted the announcement that he’d ended up on the cutting room floor, but offered one of his own in support of the decision.
“I fully support Ang’s decision to go a different direction for this role in Life of Pi,” Maguire said in a statement to THR. “Ang shared a lot of the film with me, and what I saw was absolutely beautiful.”
Lee said of the decision, “To be consistent with the other casting choices made for the film, I decided to go with an entirely international cast. I very much admire Tobey and look forward to working with him again in the future.”
Maguire is the latest star to be cut out of a movie, but he isn’t the only one: just weeks ago, Rachel Weisz revealed that her performance was removed from Terrence Malick’s To the Wonder. (Jessica Chastain, Amanda Peet, Michael Sheen and Barry Pepper were also cut out of that film.) And Uma Thurman, who once played Blake Lively’s mother in Oliver Stone’s Savages, is absent from the finished film.
Life of Pi is scheduled for release on November 12, 2012. Watch the trailer for the film below.