Michael Keaton is in the midst of a major league career resurgence that, for my money, started with 2010's The Other Guys. Now, twenty eight years after he helped reinvent the comic book movie with Batman, Keaton is coming back to that world, this time as a villain in Spider-Man: Homecoming. While it's finally clear that he'll be playing Spidey's second oldest foe, The Vulture, Keaton's reasons for taking the part in the first place weren't quite as clear until now.
In a new interview with Variety, Keaton talked at length about his new film The Founder but actually dropped a hint about his role as Vulture without being prompted, which is definitely weird for someone involved in these kinds of films. The interviewer mentions that Keaton brings "an inherent likability to his roles" and that it's "been a while since (he) played a truly villainous role," to which Keaton responded...
"Yeah, Vulture, recently. But not to give too much away, but interestingly, he is and he isn’t, that character. He’s a really interesting — and more interesting than I thought — villain because there’s parts of him that you go, 'You know what? I might see his point.' Really, really. It makes it interesting to play."
I think I understand where he's coming from, but isn't this basically the exact same thing that Mads Mikkelsen, Daniel Bruhl, and virtually every other Marvel villain recently has said? The best villains have always been the heroes of their own story, that's what makes them interesting. I really shudder to think the sorts of roles Keaton has been offered that didn't feature this basic nuance of any halfway decent villain.