These past couple of days have been chock-full of good news for Spider-Man fans, and here comes some more. On the heels of Sony Pictures confirming yesterday that the new reboot is indeed titled Spider-Man: Homecoming, Variety reports that Oscar-nominee Michael Keaton is in early talks to play the film’s villain. This is mighty exciting news and perhaps not entirely surprising, as Marvel Studios is acting as the “creative producer” on the film in a collaborative effort between Marvel and Sony, and Marvel has been killing it in terms of casting lately. Between Tilda Swinton and Chitwetel Ejiofor in Doctor Strange and Cate Blanchett in Thor: Rangarok, they are quickly filling the MCU ranks with the best performers working today.
So who is Keaton playing? Variety says the role is being kept under wraps, but a rumor surfaced yesterday that comics character Vulture has an appearance in the film, though at the time it was unclear if Vulture would be the main villain, a supporting character, or a prologue baddie. But boy is it hard to look at Keaton and not think of Vulture, an older comics character by the name of Adrian Toomes, whose career as an electronics engineer gives way to a flight harness that gives him superhuman strength.
You may remember that Sam Raimi had cast John Malkovich as Vulture in the Spider-Man 4 that never happened, but if you’re not gonna cast Malkovich as the character, Keaton’s not a bad second choice. Again, it’s not confirmed that Keaton is playing Vulture, but if yesterday’s rumor is true it would definitely make sense.
Cop Car helmer Jon Watts is directing the reboot from a script by Horrible Bosses scribes John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein. Tom Holland makes his debut as Peter Parker in Captain America: Civil War, and the exciting part about Keaton’s casting is that it opens up the possibility for him to appear in other Marvel Cinematic Universe films should his tenure as this mystery character extend beyond Homecoming. Zendaya and Marisa Tomei are also poised to star in the reboot, and with Keaton’s negotiations ongoing, expect to hear more casting news soon.
Spider-Man: Homecoming opens in theaters on July 7, 2017.