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SYFY WIRE Spider-Man: No Way Home

Wolverine who? Tobey Maguire & Willem Dafoe break Guinness Record with 'Spider-Man: No Way Home'

The multiverse is full of surprises.

By Josh Weiss
Spider Man Tobey Maguire Willem Dafoe PRESS

Sorry to tell you this, Hugh Jackman and Patrick Stewart, but you've just been dethroned.

With the release of Spider-Man: No Way Home, Tobey Maguire (Peter Parker) and Willem Dafoe (Green Goblin) have both set a new Guinness World Record for "longest career as a live-action Marvel character" by reprising their famous characters 19 years and 225 days after the release of Sam Raimi's first Spider-Man movie back in 2002. Jackman (Wolverine) and Stewart (Professor Charles Xavier) previously held the non-consecutive title — 16 years 232 days — with regards to the X-Men franchise.  

SYFY WIRE has reached out to Maguire, Dafoe, Sam Raimi, and Jon Watts for on the record-breaking Marvel news.

The "Raimi-Verse" actors were able to return to the Marvel canon by way of the multiverse, which became fractured when Doctor Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) cast a spell to make the world forget Mysterio's reveal of Spider-Man's secret identity at the end of Far From Home. Dafoe, who was digitally de-aged for No Way Home, agreed to take part in the project on one condition.

"I just was concerned about how contrived it was or whether it was just a power cameo, a reference, to root something," he said ahead of the wide theatrical release in December. "I was worried that I wouldn't have something to do. So when [executive producer Amy Pascal] and [director Jon Watts] spoke to me, they pitched the idea and it sounded great. Actually, it's been a lot of fun ... The physical stuff was important to me. In fact, one of the first things I said to Jon and Amy when they pitched it to me — before there was even a script — was, 'I don't want to just pop in there as a cameo or just fill in in close-ups. I want to do the action because that's fun for me. And also, it's really impossible to add any integrity or any fun to the character if you don't participate in these things.' Because all that action stuff informs your relationship to the characters and the story. It makes you earn your right to play the character in a funny way."

Maguire, on the other hand, was initially called into a meeting with Pascal and Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige.

"They sort of teased it," he said during a recent discussion with Tom Holland and Andrew Garfield. "Amy was like, ‘We’d love to talk to you and you know what this is about.’ I was like, ‘Ok…sure. Let’s have a chat’ … I gotta say I was intrigued immediately. In that conversation, the intention — the love and celebration of these movies and what it meant to Amy and Kevin — was apparent. To me, when artists or people who are steering the creative process have an authentic, genuine intent of celebration of love... it was just so apparent in both of them, that I just wanted to join that. I’m a big fan of Tom and those movies and [of] Andrew, so it was definitely intriguing. But yes, I was also going, ‘What are we gonna do?’ And that was a bit mysterious."

Directed by the returning Jon Watts, Spider-Man: No Way Home is currently playing in theaters across the planet. With almost $1.7 billion in box office returns, Tom Holland's third solo outing as the friendly neighborhood web-slinger is currently the sixth-highest grossing movie in Hollywood history. If it's able to top $2 billion globally, the film will unseat Avengers: Infinity War.