As one superhero joins Tom Holland in Spider-Man: Homecoming, another drops out. Robert Downey Jr. was revealed to reprise his role of Iron Man in the joint Marvel-Sony effort coming to theaters in 2017, but now word is that Michael Keaton, once courted to play a villain role, has dropped out of discussions.
The casting update comes from Deadline, and it would’ve been an interesting choice given how Keaton made a name for himself on the DC side in Tim Burton’s Batman before making a comeback in Birdman, about an aging actor doing the same after headlining a superhero movie franchise. Alas, we’ll have to keep dreaming.
The trade states that the studios are continuing their search to fill the villain role, which is still unknown. However, there have been rumors circulating around the Web that suggest comic book villain baddie Vulture will be featured. Adrianne Toomes is depicted as an aging electronics engineer who becomes spry through his invention: a harness that grants him flight and enhanced strength. The character seemed like a shoe-in for Sinister Six or a potential Amazing Spider-Man 3 after the character was teased through an end scene from The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and the actor Colm Feore. That reboot attempt didn’t work and plans were eventually reworked as Marvel and Sony struck their deal.
Again, it’s unclear if Keaton was in fact in talks to play Vulture. But, based on looks alone, his departure leaves room for someone like John Malkovich (who’s been in the action-heavy Red and Red 2 films in his older age), Mark Strong, or Ed Harris to fill his shoes. Given Keaton’s recent comeback clout, it would seem as though Marvel and Sony want a bigger name in the role, whatever it ends up being.
Spider-Man will make his debut in the MCU in Captain America: Civil War, where, according to character descriptions, he’s personally recruited by Tony Stark to join Team Iron Man. With the billionaire-playboy-philanthropist joining Spider-Man: Homecoming, this mentoring relationship will continue. Elsewhere, Marisa Tomei will play Peter Parker’s Aunt May, Disney channel star Zendaya will play someone named Michelle, Laura Harrier (One Life to Live) will play an unspecified role, and Tony Revolori (The Grand Budapest Hotel) will play Peter’s friend Manuel.
The film, directed by Jon Watts, is scheduled for theaters on July 7, 2017.
For more Spider-Man news:
- ‘Spider-Man: Homecoming’ Adds Tony Revolori and Laura Harrier
- ‘Spider-Man’ Reboot, ’21 Jump Street/Men in Black’ Crossover Get Official Titles
- Potential ‘Spider-Man’ Reboot Villain Revealed
- ‘Spider-Man’ Reboot: Kevin Feige Says Marvel Are the “Creative Producers” on the Film