Former Batman star Michael Keaton will return to the world of superheroes this summer with Spider-Man: Homecoming, though the one time Caped Crusader won’t be playing a hero. Instead, the Oscar-nominated actor is going to suit up as the villainous Vulture, an iconic member of the wall-crawler’s rogues gallery who makes his big screen debut here.
Marvel has an iffy track record with villains, but in a new interview with Entertainment Weekly, the actor shed some light on what makes the Vulture so relevant in today’s world.
“Actually, the character actually has more relevance. I know there’s this issue that comes up about how timely this is — you know, ‘The Founder’ — is, in terms of where we are now in this country. My character [Vulture], actually, is, if not more relevant — and I’m not going to say more than that.
There’s a B-story to this guy that’s kind of really interesting and really relevant. I would be lying if I said that’s why I took it, but as we talked about it and did, I went, ‘Whoa, there’s some layers to this guy.’ “This director’s [Jon Watts] is a very bright guy, and he wanted to bring this issue out,” he added. “A lot of people are going to like him more than they probably want to, would be my guess.”
Keaton has become notoriously picky with the projects he’s chosen in recent years, so the fact that he said yes to Spider-Man: Homecoming should leave fans with a lot of faith in the project. This also isn’t the first time that the actor has insinuated Adrian Toomes will be a sympathetic character, a sign that Phase 3 is going to include some far more emotionally complex bad guys.
It should also be noted that there’s been a lot of speculation that the Vulture will be a former Stark Industries employee, so him having been laid off and forced to turn to crime would definitely have some relevance. We won’t know for sure whether Marvel’s got a solid villain on their hands here for at least a few more months, but Spider-Man: Homecoming is definitely shaping up to be one of 2017’s most exciting releases – that’s for certain!