Tobey Maguire Cut From Oscar Contender 'Life of Pi'

Tobey Maguire
Tobey Maguire
 Jemal Countess/Getty Images

This story first appeared in the Sept. 14 issue of The Hollywood Reporter magazine.

Can an actor be too famous for a party? Tobey Maguire had shot a brief role in Ang Lee's Life of Pi, due in theaters Nov. 21 from Fox, as a writer who interviews the central character. But an insider says the Oscar-winning director felt the performance wasn't working -- awkward because Lee's relationship with Maguire dates to 1997's The Ice Storm.

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A source close to Maguire says the actor, who eventually will appear in Warner Bros.' postponed The Great Gatsby, was too famous among the cast of relative unknowns.

In a statement to THR, Maguire says: "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." Says 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 is expected to be an awards contender.

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The writer role now is being played by Rafe Spall, who appeared in Ridley Scott's Prometheus and played William Shakespeare in Roland Emmerich's Anonymous.

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