Although Tobey Maguire's last screen performance to receive a major release was only five years ago and was widely praised for his role, the question remains as to why Tobey Maguire has not been seen on screen since.
His last role, according to IMDb, was the narrator for the children's animated movie 'The Boss Baby' and before that, he produced and starred in 'Pawn Sacrifice', a long-in-development biopic that followed the battle between chess titans Bobby Fischer and Boris Spassky during the height of the Cold War. Maguire played Fischer, a brilliantly talented player who was known for being incessantly difficult to work with and truculent to everyone else. In an interview with Vanity Fair, Maguire admitted that he had more in common with Bobby Fischer than he may have realised.
"You want a little quick, private experience, but suddenly everybody in the place is trying to sneak pictures of you and come up to you and ask for favors like, ‘Come talk to my relative next store.’ I might be in a really engaged moment with a friend or one of my children... What if you are sensitive to that and you were actually kind of uncomfortable and awkward socially? It’s about finding that experience that you’ve had at some point and multiplying it out to understand Fischer’s point of view."
Maguire was no stranger to Hollywood or fame, had been working steadily in the industry since he was a child. His first role was in 1989's 'The Wizard', where Maguire had an uncredited role as a background extra. In less than two years, he had bagged a television role in 'Great Scott!' and was appearing in everything from the likes of 'Jake And The Fatman' to a guest role on 'Roseanne'. In 1993, Maguire starred in 'This Boy's Life' alongside Leonardo DiCaprio. Here, the two struck up an immediate friendship that would persist for years.
However, the hard-partying lifestyle of the '90s began to take a serious toll on Maguire's life. By 1995, Maguire had begun attending AA meetings and shifted his career path away from the roles that saw him compete with his friend, Leonardo DiCaprio. Maguire began to aim more towards moody dramas and indies like Ang Lee's 'The Ice Storm', Quinton Peeples' 'Joyride' and Lasse Hallstrom's adaptation of 'The Cider House Rules', which won Maguire a Golden Globe nomination.
His youthful looks earned him the role of Peter Parker in Sam Raimi's 'Spider-Man', which catapulted Maguire into the limelight and with two highly successful sequels to follow, Maguire's ascent to the A-list was all but confirmed, yet paparazzi photos from the era often showed Maguire angrily confronting photographers who followed him. By the time 'Spider-Man 2' came around, Maguire was battling with Sony over his compensation for the sequel, with Jake Gyllenhaal briefly considered as a replacement for Maguire. Shortly thereafter, Maguire fired his longtime agent.
At least two actors admitted during interviews to having difficulties with Maguire on set. His co-star on 'The Cider House Rules', Charlize Theron, said that she had issues with Maguire. In an interview with V Magazine, Theron said that "Tobey and I had a bit of a rough time, yeah. I mean, we're good now. It was a difficult movie." James Franco spoke of clashing with Maguire on 'Spider-Man' during an interview alongside Sam Raimi. While Maguire certainly appeared to be unconcerned with his public perception, the real nail in the coffin came from the memoir by Molly Bloom in 2014, which was adapted into the movie, 'Molly's Game', starring Jessica Chastain in the lead role.
The memoir detailed Maguire's incredible poker skills, but also a dark side that manifested itself in different ways. Bloom alleged that Maguire offered her a chip worth a thousand dollars if she barked and clapped like a seal. Another incident saw Maguire fret over his poker skills being a result of his A-list status, and saw him buy a Vegas-style automatic card shuffler so players wouldn't think the dealer was giving him preferential cards. The eventual adaptation of Bloom's memoir, 'Molly's Game', saw a number of incidents replicated from the book and carried out by a player known only as 'X', which was played by Michael Cera.
As of 2018, IMDb lists no active projects in development by Tobey Maguire as an actor, but lists three upcoming films where Maguire is a producer - 'Rub & Tug', which caused controversy over the casting of Scarlett Johansson in the role of Tex Gill, a trans woman who became a criminal mastermind in '70s Pittsburgh, and 'The Best Of Enemies', a period-set biopic about the clash between a civil rights activist and a high-ranking member of the Ku Klux Klan over school integration.
While the exact reasons as to Maguire's exit from screen roles is unclear, there doesn't appear to be any shortage of reasons as to why that's the case. Whether it's the shifting tastes of audiences, his lack of interest in playing blockbuster roles having done so in his younger years, or his preference for privacy, Tobey Maguire's career as an actor now appears dormant. Whether that's by choice or not is the question.