Tobey Maguire Works 'Family Time' Into Spider-Man Contract

09/15/2008 at 07:00 AM ET
ODuran/Fame Pictures

In what is being hailed as a victory for working moms and dads in Hollywood, Tobey Maguire has secured "family time" in the deal he’s reportedly inked to appear in Spider-Man 4 and 5. The two films will shoot back-to-back over a grueling six month span, but Tobey will be free to spend early mornings and evenings with wife Jennifer Meyer Maguire and the couple’s 22-month-old daughter Ruby Sweetheart. 

The Times Online reports that Sony Pictures was prepared to offer the title role to another actor because it feared the clause would set a bad precedent; Chairman (and mom!) Amy Pascal agreed with Tobey, however, that six months without built-in family time was unfair — for any parent.

Ruby is the first child for Tobey, 33, and Jennifer, 31, who married in 2007.

Source: Times Online


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Nicole on

What about the working parents in the military who go 18 months at a time without seeing their children? That’s definitely grueling and I doubt American soldiers get paid even HALF of what Tobey Maguire will for the next 2 Spider Man movies.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m glad the studio agreed to include family time in the contract, but it’s hard for me to look at the life of an actor as being unfair in any aspect.

kelsey on

Nicole, I couldn’t agree with you more, its great to see an actor with his priorities straight but most working parents don’t have it that good.

Ginger on

I think it is really sad that Sony didn’t want to offer the time and was afraid it would set a precedent. God forbid people actually spend time with their families.

Spiff on

Nicole..I doubt the soldiers even get 1/100th of what Tobey will get for the Spiderman movies. It really shows where our priorities lie…

Eleonora on

I TOTALLY agree with Nicole.

Angel on

I’m trying to figure out what soldiers’ families have to do with Tobey Maguire. Yeah, it sucks that soldiers don’t have the option of negotiating more time with their families and do not get paid what they deserve but that’s not Tobey’s fault.

My guess the reason why the agreed to Tobey’s terms is because they were afraid the films would not perform well if he wasn’t in them. There is already a strike against these films since fans were disappointed with the last one. The studio probably didn’t want to put yet another strike against them by replacing Tobey.

Leene on

When I read the comment about six-months without family time being unfair I immediately thought about my family. My husband has been deployed for 7 months already with another 5 to go, I would love to have some built in family time.

While its not Tobeys “fault” that soldiers don’t see their families it just seems like we need to keep things in prespective. He is an actor who has millions and millions of dollars at his disposal, I’m sure there is the option of having his family move with him on location and not everyone is afforded that luxury.

Elizabeth on

I think it would have been more helpful if the article would have stated what hours they were planning to work Tobey for six months straight BEFORE they added the family clause. He’s an actor, not a fighter pilot. Not seeing his little girl during any of her waking hours for six months is not what he signed up for.

Tiffany on

I think we should all be happy for Tobey and start campaigning for other parents to get as much time with their children. The point is that everybody should get more time with their families, not to deny it to Tobey because some people get less!

lizzielui on

I think some people are missing the point. Even if Toby had his family move on location with him, if he is required to be on set for 12-15+ hours a day without any designated “Family time” then he still wouldn’t be spending any quality time with Ruby and his wife as he is on the set the entire time. The issue is not how much money he has and whether he is able to have his family on location, rather it is about having the studio allow them a break during their 15+ hour workday. I don’t think anyone is losing perspective about others who may work long hours. This is a situation that is unique to Toby and he chose to act on it.

Ruthella on

Elizabeth and Tiffany; I totally agree! I think it’s great to see Tobey prioritising his family, why should he (and his wife and Ruby) lose out just because not everyone is able to spend as much time with their family as they’d like to?

My husband went freelance two years ago so that he can spend ten weeks a year with us instead of five. When he IS at work, he has to be away ten hours a day minimum, so the extra five weeks off make up for that. Still, most men in his line of work take LESS than five weeks a year off; I’m glad my man’s got his priorities right!

I admire anyone who signs up to the Forces, but it’s pretty much expected from the outset that it’s going to involve lots of time away from home, isn’t it? When I see Jamie Oliver, for example, swanning off around the World and spending next to no time with his kids (when he certainly doesn’t need the money) it makes me so sad. Tobey putting them first is great to see🙂

Ruthella on

Lizzielui; well said🙂

JOn on

Interesting deal, but a good deal!

JJ on

It’s great to see this. No parent should have to be separated from their children for work for an unreasonable amount of time.

This isn’t about the pay – it’s about having a reasonable work schedule. I think parents should be able to negotiate for and get a reasonable work schedule that doesn’t force you to never see your kids.

Tobey has enough money to not work at all for the rest of his life. He has the power to negotiate this kind of contract. In time, it could set a precedent and lead to better working conditions for actors, writers, producers, directors – and I think that would be great. I also think it’s pretty awful that Sony Pictures resisted because of greed.

Unfortunately, the tremendous sacrifices people in the military make can’t be fixed in this way because no one would want to bring their babies with them to war or other conflict; it truly is impossible. Doing a movie and keeping working hours reasonable is definitely possible. The two are very different scenarios and goodness knows I would hate to have the “rules” about my job be the rules in place for the military.

brannon on

Good for him! He chose acting. He gets to negotiate his contracts. Service people choose the service. They know what they are getting into. Every job comes with different perks and benefits and it’s all about the decisions individuals make. Why should he not be given this right because others aren’t? Makes no sense. That’s like arguing that teachers should not get off in the summers because others don’t? I think it’s impressive that Toby made the right decision for his family.

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