Meet the Vulture, the Marvel super villain with the most fitting nom de crime.
He might have a cool name but Michael Keaton’s bad guy in Spider-Man: Homecoming differs from the likes of Avengers villains Loki and Thanos in one important sense – He’s an everyman.
“My whole approach for this movie is that we’ve seen the penthouse level of the (Marvel) universe,” says director Jon Watts (Cop Car). “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.”
A feathered fiend from 1963 who was the second villain Spidey faced in comic books, the Vulture is getting a modern makeover with a wicked high-tech wing suit and even a relatable day job.
Fourteen previous Marvel films have seen a number of huge superhero battles leave a ton of destruction in their wake, and Adrian Toomes (Keaton) is a blue-collar sort who runs a New York salvaging company that cleans up after these messes. However, when a new government agency led by white-collar superhero Tony Stark(Robert Downey Jr.), a.k.a. Iron Man, takes the gig over in the wake of the events of Captain America: Civil War, Toomes decides he isn’t going to take it lying down and he becomes what producer Eric Hauserman Carroll describes “sort of…the dark Tony Stark.”
The Vulture teams with two other Marvel supervillains making their cinematic debuts, the Shocker (Bokeem Woodbine) and the Tinkerer (Michael Chernus), to turn some of the alien and advanced tech they’ve acquired through salvage into powerful new weapons to sell to criminals.
“He thinks once he has this money and power, he’ll have more control of his life,” Carroll adds. However, it doesn’t take too long before they get on the radar of their friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man (Tom Holland).
“Some people see themselves as victims — he sees himself a little bit like that,” Keaton says 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?’ ”
Director John Watts says his take on the Vulture was inspired by partly by John C. Reilly’s character from Guardians of the Galaxy, Rhomann Dey, who provided a more grounded perspective on the events of the film.
“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 says. “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.”
Plus, with his new baddie Watts gets to use “this neat junk from all the other movies,” he says. “It’s a really great starting point for the villains to have the Vulture picking over the stuff and finding the valuable exotic elements and having the Tinkerer assemble into something that could be used.”
The Marvel Cinematic Universe is a place “where you can be a villain and a real person, too,” Watts says. “Being a supervillain isn’t necessarily your full-time job.”
A young Peter Parker/Spider-Man (Tom Holland), who made his sensational debut in Captain America: Civil War, begins to navigate his newfound identity as the web-slinging super hero in Spider-Man: Homecoming. Thrilled by his experience with the Avengers, Peter returns home, where he lives with his Aunt May (Marisa Tomei), under the watchful eye of his new mentor Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.). Peter tries to fall back into his normal daily routine – distracted by thoughts of proving himself to be more than just your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man – but when the Vulture (Michael Keaton) emerges as a new villain, everything that Peter holds most important will be threatened.
The cast includes Tom Holland, Michael Keaton, Zendaya, Donald Glover, Jacob Batalon, Laura Harrier, Tony Revolori, Tyne Daly, Bokeem Woodbine, with Marisa Tomei, and Robert Downey Jr. It also includes Jon Favreau, Martin Starr, Kenneth Choi, Michael Mando, Selenis Leyva, Isabella Amara, Jorge Lendeborg, Jr., JJ Totah, and Hannibal Buress.