The Marvel Cinematic Universe has seen its fair share of epic battles that have caused massive property damage. But who cleans up after the fight is over and the heroes leave? That’s where Michael Keaton’s Vulture comes into play in “Spider-Man: Homecoming.”
Described as an “everyman,” Vulture isn’t a god like Loki or an all-powerful being like Thanos. “My whole approach for this movie is that we’ve seen the penthouse level of the [Marvel] universe,” director Jon Watts told USA Today. “We’ve seen what it’s like to be a billionaire inventor and to be a Norse god. We’ve seen the very top of this world. But we’ve never seen what it’s like to be just a regular joe.”
The Vulture’s alter ego, Adrian Toomes, is the blue-collar owner of a New York salvaging company that cleans up the streets after superhero battles. His world comes crashing down when a government organization run by Tony Stark steps in to replace his.
Co-Producer Eric Hauserman Carroll said Toomes “has a bone to pick” with the Avenger, and “sort of becomes the dark Tony Stark.” The Vulture’s crew of the Shocker (Bokeem Woodbine) and the Tinkerer (Michael Chernus) begins to use scavenged alien artifacts and stolen advanced tech to build weapons to sell to other criminals. “He thinks once he has this money and power, he’ll have more control of his life,” Carroll added. It’s not long before Toomes’ criminal activity catches the eye of Tom Holland’s Spider-Man.
“Some people see themselves as victims — he sees himself a little bit like that,” Keaton said of Toomes. “He probably would have a strong argument that he never got a fair shot — a lot of ‘Why not me? Where’s mine?’”
Watts looked at John C. Reilly’s Nova Corpsman in “Guardians of the Galaxy” as an influence when creating Toomes’ “ground-level perspective.” “I like the idea that in these huge movies, you pick out one extra and you’re like, ‘What does he think of all this?’ ” Watts commented. “Sometimes these movies are so casual about just destroying whole cities and incredible things happen and everyone’s like, ‘Eh, whatever.’ If that really happened, it would be amazing and change everything.”
The Vulture will be the first major villain in the Marvel Cinematic Universe to have a regular day job. Watts closed by saying, “Being a supervillain isn’t necessarily your full-time job.”
“Spider-Man: Homecoming” follows the events of “Captain America: Civil War.” Described as “a coming-of-age story,” the film finds Peter attending his high school for gifted kids, trying to impress his new benefactor Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) and also dealing with a pesky arch enemy, the Vulture (Michael Keaton).
Directed by Jon Watts (“Clown”) from a script by John Francis Daley and Jonathan M. Goldstein (“Vacation”), “Spider-Man: Homecoming” stars Tom Holland, Michael Keaton, Marisa Tomei, Robert Downey Jr., Zendaya, Donald Glover and many, many others, The film swings into theaters on July 7.