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Vulture described as "a dark Tony Stark"; John C. Reilly was an inspiration

03.27.2017

This week will be a good one for Spider-Man fans, I think. On Friday we got some neat new posters, and today a new teaser, with a full trailer tomorrow. But we know the Wall-Crawler (Tom Holland) pretty well, and who fans want to know more about is Michael Keaton’s villain, Vulture. Director of SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING Jon Watts recently dished-out a bevy of details about the baddie, painting him as a normal guy with an itch to scratch.

Speaking with USA Today, Watts spoke about Vulture, real name Adrian Toomes, saying he’s just a “regular joe”:

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.

As a “joe” Toomes has a day job, which involves owning a company that cleans up the wreckage after the heroes destroy everything in sight. However, Tony Stark (Robert Downey Jr.) decides to take over this enterprise and make it a government matter. Toomes doesn’t like that one bit, and begins to salvage alien wreckage to sell to other criminals. With the help of friends Shocker (Bokeem Woodbine) and Tinkerer (Michael Chernus), Toomes aims to get back at the iron-clad hero…which in a way turns him into a “dark Tony Stark” himself, according to co-producer Eric Hauserman Carroll:

He thinks once he has this money and power, he'll have more control of his life.

Keaton himself spoke about the role, describing him as a kind of everyman who has the same kind of gripes some working-class folks may have today:

Some people see themselves as victims — he sees himself a little bit like that.  He probably would have a strong argument that he never got a fair shot — a lot of ‘Why not me? Where’s mine?’

The character of Vulture has a long-standing presence in the comics, and though there is a lot of lore to draw from Watts got his inspiration for the character from an unlikely source – John C. Reilly in GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY. Watts wanted that “ground-level perspective” from a normal guy saying:

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.

I like the approach of Vulture from Watts and Keaton, turning him into a disgruntled blue-collar worker. I think it will prove a great contrast to Spidey/Parker, who himself is just an average teen who happens to have superpowers. This treatment of them as two normal people reminds me a bit of the Stark/Obadiah Stane (Jeff Bridges) angle from IRON MAN. How these character dynamics work will be interesting to watch come the movie's release, that and seeing if they make some sort of BATMAN reference. Just make Holland say, "Let's get nuts."

SPIDER-MAN: HOMECOMING arrives July 7.

Source: USA Today

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