Ever since Tom Holland’s portrayal of Peter Parker was seen in Captain America: Civil War, there has been a lot of excitement for Spider-Man: Homecoming. Holland’s youthful enthusiasm and awkwardness has endeared him to fans of the teenage hero. After five movies and two story-lines with two other actors in the role, Spider-Man is officially joined with the Marvel Cinematic Universe; and while once again his story starts in high school, this looks like a very different live-action Spider-Man than we have seen before.
Of course, no hero is complete without a really great villain. In Spider-Man: Homecoming that villain is Vulture, played by Michael Keaton. In the comics, Vultue (Adrian Tooms) is an old man who invents a harness which allows him to fly. He uses the harness to commit crimes and escape the police, though he has been defeated by Spider-Man a number of times. He also was a member of The Sinister Six.
In a recent interview with EW, Keaton dropped a bit of a hint about who Vulture is in Homecoming:
“The character actually has more relevance. I know there’s this issue that comes up about how timely The Founder is, in terms of where we are now in this country. My character, 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. A lot of people are going to like him more than they probably want to, would be my guess.”
Keaton is of course no stranger to superheroes. He played Bruce Wayne/Batman twice for director Tim Burton, and recently starred in the Oscar-winning film Birdman as an actor trying to get out from under the shadow of a hero he became famous for playing.
While Keaton is only in his mid-sixties, hardly elderly like the character is in the comics, this tracks with the casting of the film. After all, Homecoming actress Marisa Tomei is decades younger than Aunt May is in the world of Marvel comics. It’s probable that Vulture is a physically-taxing role, and the filmmakers may have wanted someone a little younger to handle the physicality of the role, for that reason.