Tobey Maguire replaced in Ang Lee's 'Life of Pi' by Rafe Spall
When we first learned that Tobey Maguire wouldn't be starring in Ang Lee's adaptation of Life of Pi, it was odd but the reported reasons made sense. Back then the motivation was said to be that the director, who has been a close friend of Maguire's since 1997's The Ice Storm, had decided to stick with a totally international cast for the film. Turns out there was a little more to the story than that.
THR notes that Maguire's role, which was a tiny one as a writer interviewing the film's central character, has been given to Brit actor Rafe Spall. I just finished mentioning Spall and how funny he was in Hot Fuzz, and he's coming off a recent turn in Ridley Scott's Prometheus. The reason Maguire was completely cut from the film turns out to be that Lee felt his performance simply wasn't working, with sources saying that he thought the Spider-Man actor was too famous for it. Again, makes total sense to me, as the film is full of mostly unknown actors with the exception of Irrfan Khan.
So did the decision have an adverse effect on Lee and Maguire's friendship? Not really. Maguire sounds totally cool with it....
Maguire: "I fully support Ang's decision to go a different direction for this role in Life of Pi. Ang shared a lot of the film with me, and what I saw was absolutely beautiful."
Lee went on to state....
Lee: "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."
Life of Pi opens in theaters on November 21st.