Rumours that Tobey Maguire had been sacked from his role as SPIDER-MAN for the forthcoming sequel were true - even if he is now back playing the role.

The actor has confirmed that he was ditched from the role because he refused to have a back scan in the sequel's early days, but managed to reconcile himself with the studio.

Apparently the ICE STORM star asked the studio to film around his own schedule because of his bad back but they said no.

He says, "I was going 'They're going to have to make some accommodation for me'."

But Maguire was mistaken. The studio promptly dropped him from the film and word got out that Jake Gyllenhaal would fill the gap.

And it seems the main problem was the actor's reluctance to undergo a computer scan that would facilitate early effects shots, causing friction with director Sam Raimi.

Maguire continues, "I could have come in a little earlier, but I was exhausted and didn't understand the importance of it.

"I was working six days a week, 14 or 15 hours a day, and then it was, 'Do I want to go in on the seventh day for an eight-hour cyberscan?' If I had understood the great importance of it for Sam, then I probably would have kicked myself and done it anyway.

"There was a period where I didn't know what I could do to work it out. I felt a little bit at a loss."

After some advice, Maguire fought for the role, proving his commitment to the film and demonstrating that his back injury would not impede production.

Describing his attitude as "inappropriate" in retrospect, Maguire says he feels many of the problems could have been avoided if he had properly discussed them with producer Laura Ziskin or Raimi.

12/05/2003 17:25