Sara Vilkomerson
June 29, 2017 AT 02:00 PM EDT

To read more on Spider-Man: Homecoming, pick up the new issue of Entertainment Weekly on stands Friday, or buy it here now. Don’t forget to subscribe for more exclusive interviews and photos, only in EW.

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.”

Columbia Pictures

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.

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