Last week’s debut of the first Spider-Man: Homecoming trailer left the Internet floored. In between freaking out over Spidey’s web wings, and the Web Head teaming up with Iron Man, one of the most exciting things about the trailer was our first good look at the Marvel Cinematic Universe’s take on the Vulture. Played by Michael Keaton, both the supervillain and his crew look to be armed with some serious tech. For Vulture, that means a more grounded approach to his classic wing suit. The new costume is replete with a bombardier jacket, massive turbines, and some nasty looking mechanized talons. All in all, the rogue looks like he’ll be giving our favorite Wall Crawler a difficult time.
The role in the upcoming blockbuster is one more chapter in Keaton’s continuing career of playing costumed characters. After debuting in Tim Burton’s Batman way back in 1989, Keaton’s career took off. He’d play the Caped Crusader once more in 1992’s Batman Returns, but the years that followed saw his star begin to fade. Then, in one of Hollywood’s greatest comebacks this side of Robert Downey, Jr. appearing in the MCU’s first entry, Keaton wowed audeinces and critics alike with his exceedingly meta role in Birdman. One might think the actor enjoys this type of thing.
Unsurprisingly, he was asked about the growth of the superhero genre and his multiple roles in it when Deadline caught up with the actor to talk about his recent performance in The Founder. The actor had plenty of praise for those behind his latest foray into superhero films:
“It hits me in various times. The further you get from events, you start to look at it from a little distance, position and height, and you get it. I have thought about the way things have changed, because I just did Spider-Man, and Marvel? That is one well-oiled machine. It is remarkable how they have got that whole thing covered in a really qualitative way.”
While it’s safe to say Keaton had no idea how big the genre of superhero films would become when he first donned the cowl in the late ’80s, he must’ve had an inkling of its success when Marvel came knocking on his door. Since 2008, the studio has had hit after hit, breaking box office records all over the world. Still, an actor like Keaton would be unlikely to once again wade into the waters of a tentpole franchise if he didn’t have some faith in Marvel Studios as a company. Fear not, as he had nothing but positive things to say about his recent experience.
“Just how efficient it is, in the best sense, and how it operates on a practical level. How organized they are about what they make and how conscientious they are about what they have. They’ve got really wonderful actors for one thing, but I guess that has always been the case. Batman always had great actors surrounding that character. We had Pat Hingle and all these terrific actors. They really get that script is important, and they really protect their lore and that culture and they see the enormity of it, on a capitalistic level.”
Given that his enjoyment of working on the first Batman led to him returning for the sequel, here’s hoping his work as the Vulture in Homecoming is just the first of many appearances in the MCU. Marvel hasn’t always had the best track record with villains, so it’d be nice if an actor the caliber of Keaton was kept around. Considering Sony is still toying with the idea of doing a Sinister Six movie, who better to be the group’s first member? But before you start thinking Keaton is a closet fanboy, prepare to have your heart broken a little. In regard to Captain America: Civil War setting up Spider-Man Homecoming, Keaton said:
A great kid, by the way. That doesn’t sound easy to do. I haven’t seen any of those movies, though. I just haven’t. It’s not a judgment.
Well, he’s got plenty of time from now until the recently announced sequel starts filming to have himself an MCU binge. Until then, we’ll just have to wait until next summer to see if the Vulture is truly as terrifying as he seems.