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Movie bosses subsequently announced plans to bring the blockbuster back with a new young cast, hiring Garfield to play the title role opposite Emma Stone.

And Maguire clearly approves of his replacement, reaching out through a pal to contact Garfield - a gesture which left The Social Network star overwhelmed.

He tells the BBC, "I’ve never met him (Maguire)... (but) he sent me a lovely message through a mutual friend.

"He gave me his support and it meant a great deal, of course, because a part of the reason I loved this character was because of his portrayal. To step into those shoes is no mean feat. It was generous of him to reach out and say something, so I’m thankful."