Now that he's traded playing a superhero for a supervillain, Michael Keaton isn't just settling for the usual fare.
That's what the acclaimed actor hints at in a new interview with EW in which he speaks about his upcoming role in Spider-Man: Homecoming as Adrian Toomes, aka. the Vulture. Known for his complicated, tormented portrayal of Bruce Wayne in 1989's Batman and 1992's Batman Returns, Keaton doesn't reveal much but does say that the Vulture comes equipped with not just awesome wings but the same kind of layering:
"The character actually has more relevance. I know there's this issue that comes up about how timely (Keaton's new movie) 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) 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."
The Founder is about the man who turned McDonald's into a fast-food empire and how he trampled over basically everyone in his life (including the actual McDonald brothers) to consolidate his power and wealth. You don't have to look too far to see some modern-day analogies to that.
Could the story concocted for the Vulture in Spider-Man: Homecoming be along the same lines? With Keaton in the role, anything is possible. And since the last truly great Spider-Man screen villain was arguably Alfred Molina's Doc Ock in 2004's Spider-Man 2, it will be nice to see the wallcrawler go up against an impressive and multi-dimensional nemesis again.
In that same interview, by the way, The Founder co-star Patrick Wilson also speaks briefly about changing sides from hero (he was Nite Owl in 2009's Watchmen) to villain as Ocean Master in the upcoming Aquaman. Wilson manages to say, "It's nice to don the tights every now and then," before Keaton comes at him with, "Vulture will destroy you, Ocean Master." It's a fun exchange about a Marvel/DC crossover we'll never see happen ... but certainly wouldn't mind with these two actors in the roles.
Spider-Man: Homecoming hits theaters on July 7.