Movie Article

Big 'Man' on Campus

First look: On the set of ''Spider-Man 2.'' Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst, and new villain Alfred Molina are all on board for day one of the Columbia University shoot

Tobey Maguire | ROLL CALL Maguire and Raimi talk ''Man''-to-man about the sequel
Image credit: Tobey Maguire: Alecsey Boldeskul/NYPP/ZUMA Press
ROLL CALL Maguire and Raimi talk ''Man''-to-man about the sequel
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Big 'Man' on Campus

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Irascible editor J.J. Jameson would be pleased. ''The Amazing Spider-Man'' began shooting in New York on Saturday and paparazzi immediately caught Spidey in action -- sort of. The early days of the production focus on Peter Parker, not his web-spinning alter-ego, so enterprising photogs got pictures of Maguire using a pay phone and laughing with director Sam Raimi (who always wears a suit -- his homage to Alfred Hitchcock, who did the same). Still, the location of the shoot, Columbia University, reveals that Peter will be spending time there in the new film, presumably as a student. And a few other details on the big bank sequel to last year's $400 million blockbuster have also leaked out:

Despite experiencing back pains for months, Maguire will, in fact, be able to film action scenes for the movie, which hits theaters next July 2. ''Tobey's in Spidey-shape,'' a source close to the production tells EW.com. ''He's doing stunts, he's doing wirework.'' Maguire was almost fired from the picture earlier this year after allegedly using his back problems as a negotiating tool, according to Variety, which also reported that costar Kirsten Dunst's real-life boyfriend, Jake Gyllenhaal, was offered the role in his place. The trade paper went on to say that last-minute negotiations returned Maguire to the picture. (Maguire's spokesperson declined to comment).

The actor will need to be in tip-top shape to face his newest enemy, the metal-arm-wielding Doc Ock, as played by character actor Alfred Molina (''Frida''), who's joined the cast in New York. Plus, Peter will have to reckon with a new rival for Mary Jane Watson's affections: J.J. Jameson's handsome astronaut son, John Jameson, played by Canadian newcomer Daniel Gillies.

Another new cast member is Dylan Baker (the dad on Fox's ''The Pitts''), who will play one-armed scientist Dr. Curt Connors. According to the comic books, Connors is destined to grow fangs and scales as reptilian villain the Lizard. But that may have to wait until ''Spider-Man 3'' -- or if Sony's titling trend holds, ''The Spectacular Spider-Man.''

Originally posted Apr 14, 2003