Michael Keaton is reportedly going to be a main character in Spider-Man: Homecoming. It hasn’t been unveiled who the past Batman will be playing, but rumor has it that he will be a villain, and this seems like the only type of character he can play. He’s not going to be Uncle Ben because the age gap between him and Marisa Tomei is a bit obvious, and Tony Stark will be taking the role as a father figure for the young Peter Parker, so prepare to see Keaton as the bad guy.
Spider-Man has a huge stable of villains that Keaton can play. Almost all of them are grown and accomplished men, so his age is not a factor as to whom he might be. There are a ton rumors about who he will be portraying, but no facts have been unveiled yet. It’s been said that The Vulture might be in the movie (and that rumor is pretty much everywhere), but the comics that it’s named after features a slew of villains including Curt Connors, Kingpin, and Black Cat.
However, Homecoming will not be the main source that the plot will draw from. In that comic Peter is an adult, he dons the ugly black suit, and that comic isn’t the most “action-packed” story arc that Spidey has to offer. So deciding the villain based on the books won’t work. Much like Civil War, writers will just be borrowing the title. So who will Keaton be playing in the upcoming movie? Well here are our top 10 predictions.
This is the most obvious villain for Keaton to play. The Vulture is an older scientist who developed a harness that gives him superhuman strength and the ability to fly. He is a ruthless killer and shows little care for human life, but he wasn’t always that way. Before he was the Vulture, he was Adrian Toomes, an engineer who was duped by his partner Gregory Bestman and left for nothing. He gets mad and creates the said harness and goes on a crime spree until he is stopped by the web-slinger. It’s a classic Marvel Villain origin story, but it leaves a lot on the table for the movie. After giving us complex and layered villains like Loki and Zemo, having a two-bit thief with decent technology may be a quite the let down for moviegoers. Having watched Michael Keaton in Birdman and knowing the MCU, chances are that they will either add more appeal to the character, or they won’t use Vulture.
After accidentally being knocked overboard from his ship by Spider-Man, Morris Bench was hit with radiation from an experimental generator that was supposed to harmlessly go off in the ocean. The radiation mixed with oceanic bacteria led to Morris becoming a “man-of-water,” which means that he is able to turn his body into a water-like substance. Hydro-Man is, at best, a C-level villain who is more often than not just a slight hindrance to the web-slinger, however that gives the writers a ton of creative control with the character. With villains like the Vulture, who have been around for a long time and have defined characteristics, there is only so much they can do. But because Hydro-Man is relatively unknown, the writers can have a fun time developing interesting characteristics. Think about what the writers did with The Purple Man (in Jessica Jones). Also worth noting is that Hydro-Man’s origin ties to the whole “superheroes hurt people” that the MCU has been revolving around. Hydro-Man probably won’t be the villain because he just isn’t much of a draw for most people.
8. Green Goblin
We really doubt that The Green Goblin will be making an appearance in the upcoming movie, mainly because it’s already been done three times. Marvel want to show that they don’t need to follow old rules and use the same villains we have already seen over and over again. However, Keaton would be an amazing Norman Osborn, a nearly perfect casting choice. He just won an Oscar for playing a man who is suffering from mental issues and has a bit of a death wish. Willem Dafoe did a wonderful job, and Keaton could either surpass or equal his interpretation. The character is now well known as Spider-Man’s archenemy because of his history in the movies, but without a Gwen Stacey, his potential as “archenemy” is greatly diminished. It will probably not happen sadly, but we can hope.
7. Doctor Octopus
Being a good archenemy means that the hero should see a reflection of themselves in the person they are fighting. The Joker is like Batman if Batman started killing, Captain Hook is like Peter Pan if he grew up, and Sephiroth and Cloud are clones or something in Final Fantasy VII. Otto Octavius and Peter Parker are pretty much the same person; both are engineering geniuses, both lost their father figures as a teenager (which became the inspiration for all of their actions), and at one point Doc Oc even takes over Peter Parker’s consciousness and body and continues as a hero (kinda). That’s why the MCU may choose to use him as the first villain introduced for their new Spider-Man. It would be the smart move, and seeing as Spider-Man 2 came out over a decade ago, they can totally go back to the character. The studios may try to use Otto as bait for a second Spider-Man movie (much like The Dark Knight did with Joker, and The Amazing Spider-Man did with The Green Goblin) but they may choose to use the villain to start the series off right.
Mysterio would be a ton of fun to watch on the big screen as he is an illusionist and hypnotist who does things like convince Spidey that he’s 6 inches tall, almost convincing Daredevil to kill a baby, and almost causes worldwide hysteria by hypnotizing everyone using subliminal messages. He is severely underrated as a super villain, partly because he wears a fishbowl on his head. If the MCU were to incorporate the man they better update his costume to not look like a 12-year-old playing astronaut in his backyard. Mysterio fits better as a second movie villain as he can mind control someone Spidey has already grown to care about, but that’s where Tony Stark comes in. After Civil War we can believe that Tony and Peter stay in contact and if Mysterio can gain control of a distraught Iron-Man, Spidey might have a real battle on his hands. Keaton can play this role well, and fits the part, but we doubt the MCU would choose the fishbowl over the Vulture wings.
Tinkerer is a low-level crook who creates weapons and tools for other thugs to use to find dirt on politicians and others in power, and then the Tinkerer blackmails them. Not quite the main antagonist in the movie, but think about him as the comic relief side-guy to play off a stoic villain like Doc Oc or even The Green Goblin. Keaton has been better known as the Oscar winner for Birdman or in Batman, but don’t forget that the man was one of the biggest comedians in the world before Tim Burton cast him as the Bat. Tinkerer will probably be in the movie if one of two things happen: Michael Keaton wants to play him (for some reason) or if the Vulture is the movie. There are rumors that the Tinkerer will use Chitauri technology to create The Vulture’s harness in the upcoming movie, but those are just rumors for now.
Hammerhead is wannabe 1920’s era mobster that had his skull replaced with an unbreakable metal plate. Putting in a character like Hammerhead does a lot for the MCU; it opens up the universe to the gang related crimes that have been so prevalent in Daredevil, it allows the writers to utilize a number of smaller characters that have widely been ignored in favor of aliens (Tombstone, Chameleon, Black Cat), and also brings the fight back to Earth because the villain is a believable entity (not some OP self sufficient robot, or purple dude in space who wants some rocks). Hammerhead could be included in the upcoming Netflix shows as he pairs very well with Mike Colter’s Luke Cage, but Keaton would be a very interesting mobster, and it’s truly something we’d love to see.
3. Kraven the Hunter
Kraven is a Hunter, we’re sure you didn’t need us to tell you that, but we did. His specialty was big game hunter, but eventually he grew tired of it and chose to start hunting the most dangerous game of all; super humans. After Spidey beat up his brother (Chameleon), Kraven turned his hunt to the web-slinger, and even was a founding member of the Sinister Six, one of the most dangerous team-ups ever. Keaton would be a very cool Kraven, going back to his Batman roots as a super-strong badass who refuses to use guns. Kraven is a very layered villain as he is not out to do harm. He just wants to be the best hunter ever, and that means hunting the Spider-Man. He has notably taken out a lot of other criminals throughout the comics and seems more like an anti-hero at certain times, even saving Spidey’s life at some points. A lot of people want to see Kraven in the movie, but he is a hard character to bring to the big screen, especially in an origin movie as he has a very convoluted backstory. Kraven would be great in a TV show, we hope to see him go one-on-one with the Punisher in an upcoming show on Netflix.
Hey, a man can dream right? Keaton as the Punisher makes a little bit of sense, obviously he’d have to bulk up, but he would definitely be able to do the character justice, something we have never seen on the big screen. He would be able to win us over with a sensitive side, and then heartlessly massacre some evil-doers (possibly mistaking Spidey as one). It can’t happen though. Why? Because Jon Bernthal was an excellent Punisher in Daredevil season 2, and that is a part of the MCU that Spidey is already in. If they were to follow the Punisher’s original story from The Amazing Spider-Man #129, then it would be Bernthal donning the skull vest – not Keaton.
An older scientist who wants to solve horrible medical conditions by genetically engineering an animal? Sounds like a Spider-Man story to us. Curt Connors is a very good villain for Spidey and the MCU because he has a ton of layers as a villain. He can be in control as the Lizard, lose his mind as the Lizard like a Mr. Hyde type character, or be about 50/50 (kind of like they did with the Hulk in The Avengers movies). This is possibly the least likely villain on the list for Keaton to portray because Lizard was used so recently in 2012’s The Amazing Spider-Man. Not to say that Rhys Ifans wasn’t great in the role, but Michael Keaton would just do better. There aren’t too many stories with the Lizard that really translate to the big screen as most of the time he is just rampaging the city without a real plan. He can be utilized as a weapon for smarter villains as he often is in the comics, but Peter normally is able to get Conners to revert back to human form by the end of 24 pages. Michael Keaton probably won’t be used as a side villain in the upcoming movie, which is how the Lizard’s character is best utilized.