Michael Keaton is officially returning to the world of comic book movies after helping put Batman on the map in 1989.
But he’s not returning for DC Comics. Nope, it’s Marvel, the studio that is looking once again to create a Spider-Man origin story.
Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige, while talking with the Toronto Sun, confirmed the Oscar-nominated actor’s casting as the big bad, Vulture, in next year’s Spider-Man: Homecoming. In fact, Keaton might not even be the biggest name Marvel is attracting, especially when it comes to villains.
“We’ve had a wish list, and most of them in the near-term are coming together. Cate Blanchett is playing Hela in Thor: Ragnarok. Michael Keaton’s Vulture in Spider-Man is something. And of course, finally, we’re showcasing Josh Brolin’s Thanos (in Avengers: Infinity War). We’re looking forward to that very much.”
Feige mentioned the Keaton casting in passing, but until that interview with Sun reporter Mark Daniell, there had been no official confirmation on the rumor Keaton would take on the part opposite Tom Holland.
Keaton will debut in a comic book film 28 years after starring in Tim Burton’s Batman. Keaton would return three years later for Batman Returns opposite Danny DeVito, but then hung up his cape and bat ears to make room for Val Kilmer in the role.
Then again Keaton has had a hard time shaking the bat despite appearing in some critically acclaimed roles over the years. In fact, his Oscar nomination was for 2014’s Birdman where he plays a washed up actor best known for his superhero persona of Birdman.
Vulture is a bad guy practically from the beginning of Spider-Man, appearing in just the character’s second comic book in 1963. He has the ability to fly thanks to a special harness he uses, which also provides him with other super-human abilities as well.
This will be the first time Vulture has showed up in the Spider-Man movies, although Ben Kingsley reportedly almost played him for Spider-Man 3 opposite Tobey Maguire, only for director Sam Raimi to go with Venom instead. John Malkovich was then in talks to breathe life into the bad guy for Spider-Man 4, but that film was cancelled as Sony Pictures looked to reboot the franchise again with a new actor.
The first solo movie for the new Peter Parker, played by Holland, was written by a host of scribes including Jonathan Goldstein, John Francis Daley, John Watts, Christopher Ford, Chris McKenna and Erik Sommers. It’s directed by Watts, whose last outing running a feature was in 2015 with Kevin Bacon in Cop Car.
Spider-Man: Homecoming will swing into theaters July 7.
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