In true Marvel Studios form, all the marketing for Spider-Man: Homecoming thus far has been primarily focused on the webslinger himself. And it makes sense. As we’ve said many times on the site before, Marvel is very much hero-focused, and one could make the argument that while this generally leads to boring villains, it also leads to pretty solid movies. But of course, behind every good superhero is a good villain, and in the case of Spider-Man: Homecoming, audiences will see the legend Michael Keaton take on the role of Adrian Toomes, a.k.a. The Vulture.
In the comics, Toomes, is an inventor who is screwed over by his business partner who handled the finances. Following the loss of his work, he turned to a life of crime, utilizing his special harness to pull off a series of robberies in good ol’ NYC. As is expected with these movies, the filmmakers have opted to take certain aspects of the original character and fit it into its own personal world.
The big change here in Spider: Homecoming’s Vulture is his his everyman quality. Speaking with USA Today, the film’s director, Jon Watts, discussed how they hoped to show a different perspective in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
“My whole approach for this movie is that we’ve seen the penthouse level of the [Marvel] universe. We’ve seen what it’s like to be a billionaire inventor and to be a Norse god. We’ve seen the very top of this world. But we’ve never seen what it’s like to be just a regular joe.”
A regular joe is exactly what this version of Vulture is. Rather than be an inventor wronged by a business partner, he’s a blue collar worker who runs a salvaging company that cleans up after all the superhero messes left behind. While this is a Spider-Man movie, it looks like Vulture’s beef is not with Spider-Man himself, but with his mentor, Tony Stark. According to the piece, a government organization led by Tony Stark comes in to take over the salvaging work that his company once provided.
Needless to say, this doesn’t do well for business, and he — along of his crew, which consists of the Shocker and The Tinkerer — utilizes the Chitauri tech (from The Avengers) to create new weapons to sell to other criminals.
“Some people see themselves as victims — he sees himself a little bit like that,” Keaton says of Toomes. “He probably would have a strong argument that he never got a fair shot — a lot of ‘Why not me? Where’s mine?’
This is a pretty cool motivation for a villain in a Marvel film. All too often in the past, they’ve been overpowered and uninteresting, but this time around, it looks like we’ll be seeing a villain struggle to be able to take on our heroes. Watts mentioned that his inspiration for having an everyman as a villain came from John C. Reilly’s character in Guardians of the Galaxy.
“I like the idea that in these huge movies, you pick out one extra and you’re like, ‘What does he think of all this?’. Sometimes these movies are so casual about just destroying whole cities and incredible things happen and everyone’s like, ‘Eh, whatever.’ If that really happened, it would be amazing and change everything.”
Of course, this isn’t the first time we’ve seen more an everyman take on an Avenger. In Captain America: Civil War, Zemo was a man who’s whole family was killed by the Sokovia incident in Avengers: Age of Ultron, and in my opinion, he was one of the more interesting villains the franchise has had. With more moving parts being present in this take on the Vulture, hopefully, he’ll be a bit more interesting to audiences. If there is one tradition I’d like to see these Spider-Man movies continue on with, it’s the intriguing and sympathetic villains.
What do you think of this new take on the Vulture? Let us know in the comments down below!
Spider-Man: Homecoming hits theaters on July 7, 2017.
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SOURCES: USA Today