– by Joseph Jammer Medina

Know the source material! That has to be a rule when doing a comic book movie, no? Often, after an actor gets a role as superhero or supervillain these days, they often take to Twitter or Instagram to show themselves researching the role with a nice, crisp comic book. The most recent one in memory is Brie Larson curled up on her couch with a copy of Captain Marvel, preparing for the 2019 film. 

Michael Keaton surely does his research, having played Batman in two films, and Vulture in the upcoming Spider-Man: Homecoming. I mean, don’t you need more than just a script to capture the essence of a character with such a storied history? 

Keaton took to Twitter as part of a Q&A for Spider-Man: Homecoming on the film’s Twitter account. A fan asked Keaton if he read any comics to prepare for the role and Keaton’s answer was short and sweet, “No.”

Now, watch him say “No,” over and over on repeat.

This may sound disappointing, but let’s return to an April quote from Sylvester Stallone when asked the same question regarding preparation for Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. When asked if he had read any Guardians of the Galaxy comics before shooting his scenes, Stallone (NOT Keaton), said this:

“No. I didn’t. Because it’s, I grew up with a different sort of superhero film, like Elastic Man… So this one I wanted to go in there with a clean slate, and just do what the director wanted done. And, so now I’m starting to catch up on it, but I think that kind of being naive allows you to be directed in the direction they want you to go, without any preconceived ideas.” 

Though Stallone’s role was fairly small in Guardians, there is much wisdom to his quote. As long as the writers, director, and even producers know the source material, the actor just needs to follow the script and take direction in order to do a comic character justice. As long as director Jon Watts and the six writers credited on Homecoming have done their homework, Keaton should be just fine. He did pull off Batman very nicely, and Vulture isn’t quite as storied as the Dark Knight.

Do you disagree? Do you think an actor should always read the comics before portraying the character on screen? Let us know in the comments below!

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Joseph Jammer Medina is an author, podcaster, and editor-in-chief of LRM. A graduate of Chapman University's Dodge College of Film and Television, Jammer's always had a craving for stories. From movies, television, and web content to books, anime, and manga, he's always been something of a story junkie.