Take a step back and examine the rogues gallery of Spider-Man on the big screen so far. Willem Dafoe’s manic Goblin (HYAAAAHARAHARHHHAHHA!). Doc Ock’s mad genius and deadly extra appendages. James Franco’s winning smile as the new Goblin, the sheer power of the Lizard and another Goblin in the form of Dane DeHaan. Hell, even Paul Giamatti laying it on thick as a Russian gangster deserves some cheesy applause.
All formidable opponents, each with their own agenda and a skillset that truly challenged the proportionate speed, strength and agility of a spider that Peter Parker has in his DNA. What about the Vulture then? Michael Keaton’s Adrian Toomes is as blue collar a villain as could be in Spider-Man: Homecoming. He’s not looking to open a gigantic space-anus in the sky that will allow all manner of expensive CGI destruction to rain down on the world below.
He’s just out to make a buck, to make a decent living. A position that the character finds himself forced into after his legitimate business of cleaning up after superhero brouhahas is intercepted by Tony Stark and he finds himself out of work and luck. “I don’t want to give away too much because the approach that Jon [Watts] has chosen a really interesting one, and kind of risky,” Keaton explained to Collider.
Which was appealing because he’s somewhat of a victim. He takes things in that he feels like a victim, and some of it is justified actually. He believes that there’s an upper echelon of society of people who are getting away with a lot and have everything. And there’s a whole lot of folks who are working hard, and don’t have much. Does that sound familiar to anybody, given the political climate? Which I think is an interesting way to go about this.
He runs salvage. He’s a working guy. He’s built this business, this company. He works hard. And they took it from him.
I dig that. The idea of the 99% movement is still fresh within the memories of many people, especially when you have a character like Tony Stark flying around as the 1% who doesn’t need the extra business, but still takes it anyway. It’s a setup which resonated with Keaton, who comes from working class roots in the US state of Pittsburgh. “I’m sympathetic and empathetic and curious about what’s going on in the world, and more so right now in the country,” Keaton said.
This is an evident situation that’s existed for a long time, without making too big a deal out of it. I think it’s a really interesting approach. So since we know there’s a clear gap in fairness. There just is in equity. In a lot of ways, economically, racially, blah, blah, blah. It just is. Not blaming anybody, it just is. So then you say, that can be interpreted and misinterpreted and used by a lot of different people.
Some people run for office; some people try to gain influence. I generally believe all that’s true. It’s just, which one is the person who is accurately turning that dial and which one is using it as bullshit and lies? So, this is a tricky area to step into. I’m sure it will get mentioned, given when the movie comes out and given what’s going on, what people are talking about.
And I’m willing to be representative. I’m just an actor. I’m just playing a role, so even if it is a person I do not like, I would do that. But I hope this isn’t interpreted by people who misrepresent this stuff. You know what I mean? If it sounds like I’m dancing around too much with this stuff, I’m only being protective of these guys. Not me.
I’m somewhat biased to the casting of Keaton as the Vulture, mainly because at one point John Malkovich was being touted as being in line to play the character. John. Malkovich. Who talks…like this…all the TIME. Talk about dodging a bullet or several. Spider-Man: Homecoming is out this July, and in addition to Tom Holland’s wallcrawler and Michael Keaton’s villain who you can really empathise with, the film also stars Zendaya Coleman, Jon Favreau, Donald Glover, Tyne Daly, Marisa Tomei and Robert Downey Jr.