Michael Keaton, who in April was in early talks for a villainous role in the Sony-Marvel collaboration/reboot Spider-Man: Homecoming before falling out, is back in the mix again and we’ve been told his deal has closed. He apparently set to play iconic Spider-Man villain The Vulture and joins newly minted Spider-Man Tom Holland along with Marisa Tomei and Robert Downey Jr. who are also confirmed.
Spider-Man’s first real supervillain, The Vulture was created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko and introduced in Amazing Spider-Man #2 (1963). Aging Staten Island inventor Adrian Toomes had created a flight harness that also granted him enhanced strength and longer lifespan. However, he was robbed blind by his embezzling business partner, and turned to a life of crime out of bitterness and a desire for revenge.
The Vulture’s first encounter with Spider-Man happens to be the in-universe reason Peter Parker got his most famous day job, freelance photographer for tabloid paper The Daily Bugle — Bugle editor J. Jonah Jameson offered a reward to anyone who could get a picture of The Vulture. Further, The Vulture has long been tied to The Sinister Six, a supervillain team introduced in 1964 that was comprised of several enemies Spidey had consistently defeated. That means a potentially big role for Keaton within the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
Keaton is repped by ICM Partners and Anonymous Content.
Marvel today also unveiled more cast for Thor: Ragnarok, confirming that Cate Blanchett, Mark Ruffalo and Tessa Thompson are aboard as previously reported and that Jeff Goldblum and Karl Urban are joining up. Ruffalo of course will play The Hulk as he has throughout the current Marvel Universe. Blanchett will play “the mysterious and powerful new villain Hela,” according to Marvel’s website, which said that Thompson will play Valkyrie. Goldblum will play the eccentric Grandmaster, and Urban will play Skurge.
For the interested, Grandmaster is one of Marvel’s Elders of the Universe, the long-lived, last surviving members of an ancient, otherwise extinct race, all of whom cope with the boredom of existence by obsessively pursuing a specific personal interest. The Grandmaster’s obsession is gaming, preferably by forcing two opposing teams to battle. (The Collector is another Elder – three guess what his obsession is.) Grandmaster is also connected to the Infinity Stones (the magical macguffins loosely linking the various Marvel movies together). Meanwhile, Skurge, also known as The Executioner, is an Asgardian warrior who eventually teams up with Thor and sacrifices his life to stop Ragnarok. And Hela is the Marvel Comics version of the Norse Goddess Hel, who rules the afterlife (except for those who go to Valhalla) and frequently has tried using armies of her realm to conquer other worlds.
In the third Thor film, Chris Hemsworth again stars and Tom Hiddleston returns to play Loki, with Idris Elba and Anthony Hopkins also back. The film is being directed by Taika Waititi from Stephany Folsom’s script and is slated for release November 3, 2017. Urban, up next in Star Trek Beyond, is repped by UTA and McKuin Frankel Whitehead.