Long rumored but never officially confirmed, yes, Michael Keaton is playing the Vulture in Spider-Man: Homecoming. The actor has been reportedly attached to the film as a villain for several months, and the Vulture's presence has also been confirmed for several months, having been shown in the brief sizzle reel at San Diego Comic-Con. Just earlier today, a new look at the Vulture's appearance in the film was spotted. Now, in an interview with the TorontoSun, Marvel Studios President Kevin Feige confirmed the casting, the role, and did it all very nonchalantly.
When Feige was asked about the villains in future films, he addressed 2017's Thor: Ragnarok, 2018's Avengers: Infinity War, and the joint production with Sony Pictures of Spider-Man: Homecoming, also set for 2017.
"We've had a wish list, and most of them in the near-term are coming together. Cate Blanchett is playing Hela in Thor: Ragnarok. Michael Keaton's Vulture in Spider-Man [Homecoming] is something. And of course, finally, we're showcasing Josh Brolin's Thanos (in Avengers: Infinity War). We're looking forward to that very much," Feige said.
This is, of course, a case of heavy rumor but lack of true confirmation, as it was all-but-assured Keaton was in the role. When Vulture swooped down, looking like his tech was consistent with the tech both Falcon and Iron Man use in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, Keaton's role was in the bag.
Spider-Man: Homecoming continues the adventures of the newest cinematic Spidey, Tom Holland, playing a teenaged Peter Parker still in High School. He debuted in Captain America: Civil War, marking the culmination of a landmark character rights-sharing deal between Sony Pictures and Marvel Studios. In the deal, Marvel Studios had casting rights, and can use Spider-Man in MCU films like future Avengers movies. Sony Pictures, meanwhile, co-produces Spider-Man solo films, with some creative direction from Marvel Studios, and can also borrow other MCU characters. Robert Downey, Jr. is confirmed in Spider-Man: Homecoming, for example, making another appearance as Tony Stark/Iron Man. In that case, it's also a very important appearance in the MCU, as it will presumably be his first since Civil War, as the character didn't appear in Doctor Strange and is unlikely to appear in Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 2.
Spider-Man: Homecoming, directed by Jon Watts, hits theaters July 7, 2017.
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