Sony Pictures has unveiled a new behind-the-scenes featurette for Spider-Man: Homecoming that gives us a better understanding of the film’s villain, The Vulture. Michael Keaton returns to the realm of superheroes with this character, but it’s a bit different than Batman. This featurette finds Keaton and Tom Holland explaining the motivations and origins of The Vulture, and it’s telling that Keaton refers to him as “what you all want to call a villain.” The character has no inherent superpowers, and along with his salvage crew has been picking up scraps of alien technology left behind after the Avengers’ big city battles and making their own weapons. A blue-collar guy, Vulture is none too pleased with the 1%-ers like Tony Stark, and I’m interested to see that dynamic play out in the course of the film.
It’s no secret that Marvel Studios has a pretty spotty track record when it comes to crafting memorable villains, but my hopes are high for Keaton’s Vulture. The MCU baddies usually suffer from convoluted or uninteresting backstories, lack of compelling motivation, and little or no bearing on the actual characters or plot at hand. They serve as two-dimensional obstacles for our hero to defeat, and since the MCU does such a great job with its heroes, this is an issue we’ve been able to overlook time and time again.
The best MCU villains are the ones rooted in pathos, like Loki, and it looks like that’s the track being taken with Vulture here as well. When I was on the set of Homecoming last year the film’s producer told me nearly everyone who pitched to write the new Spider-Man movie pitched Vulture as the villain, so hopefully Marvel’s found an engaging way to bring this comics character to life.
Check out the Spider-Man: Homecoming featurette below, and click here to read Matt’s positive review of the film. The movie also stars Robert Downey Jr., Marisa Tomei, Zendaya, Jacob Batalon, Tony Revolori, Bokeem Woodbine, and more. Spider-Man: Homecoming opens in theaters on July 7th.