John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein have successfully made the transition to superhero movies after writing Spider-Man: Homecoming, a huge critical and financial success. A key component to this reboot of the franchise has been the villain, something that definitely played a part in sinking the previous two iterations of the series. Vulture (Michael Keaton), who plays a larger role than some Marvel villains of the past, is one of the more relatable baddies in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. In an interview with Yahoo! Movies, Daley said:
“I think our intention was always to keep him a not-terrible guy, what I can never relate to or even root against is the mustache-twirly villain [where it’s unclear] why they’re evil, and they’re just evil for evil’s sake.”
This particular version of Spider-Man (played by Tom Holland) toes the line between high schooler and superhero moreso than any other cinematic incarnation of the character. Following in the footsteps of Marvel’s forays into other genres, (Guardians of the Galaxy as a space opera, Ant-Man as a heist film, etc) this film takes its tone from the John Hughes high school films of the 1980s. This means that Peter Parker had to be made to fit into both the world of ordinary teenagers and also The Avengers. Daley explained this dichotomy:
“The biggest challenge, is finding equal levels of stakes in both of those worlds, because obviously the stakes of high school are inherently lower than life-or-death stakes of being a superhero and potentially dying.”
One key component in relating both worlds together is the Vulture. As the villain Spider-Man is chasing, he is a sinister antagonist bent on moving his stolen product to other criminals. Perhaps in the film’s biggest twist that links the dual plots together, Peter Parker discovers his adversary is in fact his homecoming date’s father. Goldstein explained:
“We found a way to combine those two plot threads and in a way that we hope pays off. You think you’re in the high school movie story, and then you’re shocked to find out this relationship.”
Fans of the Vulture character from the comics might have noticed how different his cinematic interpretation is. Goldstein explained that this change had more to do with making him more of a threat to Spider-Man:
“Once we started talking about Vulture, it was clear that the version in the comics wouldn’t do, where he was this bald old man, it just never felt terribly scary on film to us. So we thought, ‘All right, let’s make him more of a middle-aged guy.‘”
In fact, the Vulture character was almost very different from the criminal scavenger we saw on screen. A different concept revolved around Vulture being Peter’s science teacher, possibly a nod to one of the versions from the comics. Vulture fits in well with the more grounded tone of Spider-Man: Homecoming. As opposed to the scale of universal threats like Thanos, Vulture’s schemes are not quite so grand. The decision to make him the father of Peter’s crush Liz (Laura Harrier) played into this, as Goldstein noted:
“We wanted to make it to personal to Peter. This is a guy whose ambitions are not world domination, they’re fairly small and limited. So how do we make it mean something more to Peter than just being a random bad guy?”
Directed by Jon Watts, the film stars Tom Holland, Michael Keaton, Zendaya, Donald Glover, Jacob Batalon, Laura Harrier, Tony Revolori, Tyne Daly, Bokeem Woodbine, Michael Chernus, Kenneth Choi, Hannibal Buress, Martin Starr, Michael Barbieri, Angourie Rice, Abraham Attah, Marisa Tomei and Robert Downey Jr. Here is the official synopsis:
A young Peter Parker/Spider-Man (Tom Holland), who made his sensational debut in Captain America: Civil War, begins to navigate his newfound identity as the web-slinging super hero in Spider-Man: Homecoming. Thrilled by his experience with the Avengers, Peter returns home, where he lives with his Aunt May (Marisa Tomei), under the watchful eye of his new mentor Tony Stark (Robert Downey, Jr.). Peter tries to fall back into his normal daily routine – distracted by thoughts of proving himself to be more than just your friendly neighborhood Spider-Man – but when the Vulture (Michael Keaton) emerges as a new villain, everything that Peter holds most important will be threatened.
Spider-Man: Homecoming is now playing in theaters.
Source: Yahoo! Movies