With the leaked news that former Spider-Man actors Andrew Garfield and Tobey Maguire will be joining the latest arthropodous superhero Tom Holland in the upcoming flick Spider-Man: No Way Home, Garfield’s past comments about his experiences starring in two previous movies have resurfaced.
The 38-year-old actor and producer told The Independent back in 2019 that he felt pressured to apologize for questioning the iconic character’s potential bisexuality to sell tickets to homophobes.
The actor appeared in 2012's The Amazing Spider-Man and the follow-up 2014 film The Amazing Spider-Man 2, both distributed by Sony Pictures. He did not come back for a third film, and the feeling appeared to be mutual at the time. Leaked emails later alleged Garfield didn’t want to attend a gala linked to the release of the 2014 film, derisively claiming he just wanted “to be left alone.”
As Garfield explained, though, he had some deeper issues with the production that couldn’t be glossed over with a fancy, red carpet event.
“I worked harder than I’ve ever worked on anything and I’m really proud of it,” Garfield said in 2019. “But I didn’t feel represented. There was an interview I gave where I said, ‘Why can’t Peter explore his bisexuality in his next film? Why can’t [his girlfriend] MJ be a guy?’ I was then put under a lot of pressure to retract that and apologize for saying something that is a legitimate thing to think and feel. So I said, ‘OK, so you want me to make sure that we get the bigots and the homophobes to buy their tickets?’”
Plans for a third Spidey film strarring Garfield were eventually scrapped, and the film franchise was rebooted with the lead role going to up-and-coming heartthrob actor Holland. The latest movie has generated a good deal of buzz recently, in large part because of the inclusion of Maguire and Garfield in the story, as well as the introduction of a multiverse to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. Leaked photos posted to social media showed all three actors onscreen together.
An ally, Garfield has openly discussed his sexuality in the past, identifying as heterosexual.
“Up until this point, I’ve only been sexually attracted to women,” Garfield told Out in 2018. “My stance toward life, though, is that I always try to surrender to the mystery of not being in charge. I think most people — we’re intrinsically trying to control our experience here, and manage it, and put walls around what we are and who we are. I want to know as much of the garden as possible before I pass — I have an openness to any impulses that may arise within me at any time.”
While Garfield may have offended studio executives and homophobes when he suggested that Spider-Man might be bisexual, last year, Sony reportedly indicated a renewed interest in exploring the superhero’s open sexuality.
Spider-Man: No Way Home opens December 17 in theaters nationwide. You can watch the official trailer below.