Spider-Man: Homecoming’s villain, Vulture, or more to the point – the actor portraying him – is no stranger to superhero movies. Michael Keaton, who is one of the most memorable Batman actors, turns to the dark side of the superhero’s world, and becomes the bad guy in the upcoming Spider-Man: Homecoming.
For years, however, fans have wondered why he chose to leave the Batman franchise after only two movies, 25 years ago. Now, we finally have an answer – he thought the script for Joel Schumacher’s Batman Forever sucked.
Superhero movies are all the rage these days, with the Marvel Studios movies doing so well, and Ben Affleck re-energizing the Batman franchise. But back in 1989, long before Spider-Man: Homecoming, things were quite different for superheroes, who were all but forgotten after 1987’s low budget Superman IV failed to excite anyone.
Things changed in 1989, with the release of Tim Burton’s Batman. Starring Michael Keaton as Bruce Wayne, it started the trend of “dark” superhero movies. In an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, Keaton talks about the unique qualities of his first Batman.
“Tim and I established that he was depressed and reclusive. The movie is groundbreaking in almost every turn, and I was along for the ride.’
Both Keaton and Burton were there for the sequel, Batman Returns, with Danny DeVito as the villain, Penguin and Michelle Pfeiffer as Catwoman. But in 1995 Joel Schumacher replaced Burton as the director for the third Batman movie, and Keaton decided to leave after reading the script.
“It sucked. The script never was good. I didn’t understand why [Schumacher] wanted to do what he wanted to do. I hung on for many meetings, I was polite up to a point. I knew it was in trouble when he said ‘why does everything have to be so dark?'”
The Batsuit was handed over to Val Kilmer for Batman Forever, and then changed hands again for Batman and Robin when George Clooney became the bat. From there, the movie franchise was buried for years – up until Christopher Nolan took the reigns for the very successful Dark Knight trilogy with Christian Bale as Bruce Wayne.
Michael Keaton, however, is still remembered fondly as the heroic Batman. That might change as he soon becomes Spider-Man: Homecoming’s villain, in the movie slated for release on July 7.
Keaton’s casting as The Vulture on Spider-Man: Homecoming was confirmed back in November, 2016. He will play opposite Tom Holland, who already wore the Spider-Man suit for his brief cameo in Captain America: Civil War.
Speaking to Deadline Hollywood about his role as Spider-Man: Homecoming’s villain, Keaton had good things to say about Marvel Studio’s efficient movie making process, calling it a “well oiled machine.”
“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.”
Who Is Spider-Man: Homecoming’s Vulture?
The Vulture is one of Spider-Man’s oldest foes, as the aptly named Vulture magazine explains. There were several incarnations of the Vulture in the comic books over the years, but in Spider-Man: Homecoming, we are going to see the Adrian Toomes version.
Toomes first appeared as a Spider-Man villain back in 1963, on the second issue of The Amazing Spider-Man, created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko. In the comics, Toomes was an elderly man who built a flying suit with razor sharp wings, that also gave him superhuman strength.
Michael Keaton’s Vulture can be seen on the official Spider-Man: Homecoming trailer, which was released back in December.
The trailer starts with an upbeat humorous tone, right up until the moment Spider-Man: Homecoming’s villain appears, shown flying from above in his menacing suit. Robert Downy Jr.’s Iron Man then tells Tom Holland’s Spider-Man not to confront Vulture.
“Forget the flying monster guy. There are people who handle this sort of thing.”
Near the end of the trailer, we finally see Michael Keaton without his Vulture mask, giving Spider-Man a bitter warning.
“Don’t mess with me. Cause I will kill you, and everybody you love.”
With only seven months to wait until the release of Spider-Man: Homecoming, it all looks very promising. And the fact that Michael Keaton walked out of a successful franchise like Batman due to script issues, might bode well for the script of Spider-Man: Homecoming, which he agreed to take part in.
[Featured Image by Warner Bros.]