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It’s safe to say that Michael Keaton really knows his way around a superhero suit. After all, for many of us Keaton was (and always will be) the definitive Dark Knight thanks to Tim Burton’s 1989 classic, Batman. But, as Spider-Man: Homecoming director Jon Watts points out, maybe it was then that the famed actor took a cue about the joy to be found in portraying the bad guy. “You think of him on [Tim Burton’s] Batman watching Jack Nicholson have so much fun and thinking, ‘Well, that looks like fun to do,'” Watts tells EW.
It certainly looks like the veteran actor was having a blast while delving into the character of Adrian Toomes/the Vulture in Spider-Man: Homecoming. While Tom Holland tells EW, “He was terrifying,” in Keaton’s hands, he’s a conflicted and complicated character, so much so that Marvel Studios head Kevin Feige notes, “Michael won’t call him a villain.”
The exclusive video above delves further into Keaton’s Homecoming character. “I found it a really interesting approach to what you all want to call a villain,” he says. “The Vulture does corrupt things in order to fight what he sees as corruption.” Regardless, the end result was pretty much the same: “Superhero movies are only as good as their villain,” says Holland. “When people see what he’s done with this character — he really does nail it.”
Spider-Man: Homecoming swings into theaters on July 7.