Michael Keaton is no stranger to the world of superheroes, but with the release of Spider-Man: Homecoming, fans will have the chance to see him tackle a different type of role in a comic book-based universe. Keaton will show audiences his villainous side as the film’s Vulture, bringing Stan Lee and Steve Ditko’s long-running antagonist to life in live-action for the first time.
With the Spider-Man: Homecoming publicity tour in full swing, Keaton discussing playing a villain whose motives are plausible and grounded at a press conference attended by CBR on Sunday in New York City. The actor described the part as “inventive” and “really an interesting way to go.” Admitting it’s no secret he’s not familiar with the lore, Keaton said he was trying to catch up and thought the simplicity of making this person approachable was timely.
“I thought it was a really unique approach and kind of obvious when you think of it, to make this person someone who is approachable and has a legitimate gripe and a legitimate argument,” he explained. “I thought it was really well written to simplify things.”
Later in the conference, Keaton addressed if he had a preference between playing a hero — of course, he was the titular Caped Crusader in Tim Burton’s 1989 Batman and its 1992 sequel Batman Returns — or a villain, now that he’s played both parts. Keaton replied that both are fun, but actors tend to be drawn to villainous characters.
“Its cliché, but it kind of tends to be often true that you want to delve into the dark side,” Keaton told reporters. “It just gets interesting, that’s all. Usually because the reality is the lead or hero, sometimes by the nature of the piece, has to be — not one dimensional, but has to represent a thing very strongly whereas the supporting actors or character actors often are more dimensional. Without going into this and doing some sort of bullshit actor talk, but it tends to be true and a lot of times I would think everyone or most of us have experience where you’re playing one role, and you’re looking at some of those minor roles and you’re thinking, ‘Oh man, I’d like to have a bite of that.'”
“It’s just so much fun and I’ve been fortunate,” Keaton continued. “I’ve been able to play a lot of different things, tiny parts and big parts. They’re both fun. They’re both different. It’s more iconic and you make a hell of a lot more dough being the big-league guy, but they’re both fun.”
Fans will see Keaton’s Vulture for themselves when Sony Pictures and Marvel Studios’ Spider-Man: Homecoming, directed by Jon Watts and starring Tom Holland, debuts in theaters on July 7.
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