New details on Vulture’s role in Spider-Man: Homecoming
The opening of Spider-Man: Homecoming (which you can read about by clicking here) firmly establishes the film in the context of the Marvel Cinematic Universe, but it also plants the roots of its villain in a very clever way. Michael Keaton’s Toomes is a regular guy. A blue-collar working man who, in the aftermath of 2012’s The Avengers, was set to start the clean up of the Battle of New York.
“He is a businessman with a family and he wants to look out for him and his,” producer Eric Carroll says. “He has a Tony Soprano mentality, he doesn’t have these big delusions of grandeur where he wants to take over the world or replace the government or even defeat The Avengers or anything, he just wants his shot at the good life.”
Keaton himself echoed this when we spoke to him about the role, saying:
“He is somewhat of a victim. He takes things in that he feels like a victim, and some of it is justified actually. He believes that there’s an upper echelon of society of people who are getting away with a lot and have everything. And there’s a whole lot of folks who are working hard, and don’t have much. Does that sound familiar? To anybody, given the political climate? Which I think is an interesting way to go about this.”
This is where Toomes’ dark path begins. Before he can start cleaning up the debris and salvage, the Department of Damage Control intervenes and tells him to get lost.
“He thinks it’s not fair that someone like Tony Stark can make a fortune selling weapons and find the light, turn away from that and be looked upon as a hero, and then even worse help found the DoDC and get paid to help clean up the messes he makes,” Carroll says. “He’s like ‘It’s rigged man!’ He’s one of those guys.”
So when faced with a rigged system, what does he do? Toomes turns to a life of crime. He and his men steal some Chitauri technology from the ruins of New York and build his wing suit, which you shouldn’t compare to Sam Wilson’s Falcon suit.
“One of the things when we landed on the Vulture being the bad guy, we wanted to make sure it wasn’t just evil Falcon, or another guy with a backpack with wings on it,” Carroll says. “So we felt one of the cool ways to do that was to make this more of a vehicle than a costume. This thing is something like 32 to 36 feet wide. It’s a small plane. It’s not a backpack he puts on and wings pop out. It’s a thing that rests on a gantry that he has to step and clip into, and it is massive.”
Once Toomes and his crew create the technology though, they decide to keep going, to find more technology from these Avenger-centric battles, stealing from right underneath Damage Control’s noses. So after Thor fought Malekith in London? Toomes stole Dark Elf technology. After the battle with Ultron in Sakovia? Toomes found something to take. Even the fight with Crossbones in Captain America: Civil War was picked apart by Toomes, and lead to the creation of another villain, The Shocker.
“That gauntlet, you’ll recognize from the beginning of Civil War, it’s what Crossbones is using to kick the sh*t of Cap in that prologue,” Carroll reveals. “They scavenged it from the battle in Lagos and made a couple of upgrades, so that it’s not a pneumatic punch machine, it also delivers a pretty hefty jolt when it connects as well..”
Keaton also elaborated on Toomes’ relationship with his crew in the film, which includes another Spider-Man villain.
“They are just his boys, you know? I really like the relationship with the Tinkerer–with Michael (Chernus)’s character–it’s great. He’s real funny, so we goof around a lot and make up very, very funny backstories. They’re funny, but then you think, ‘Well, that’s probably their relationship. They probably get on each other’s nerves sometimes.’ I have a lot of the ideas and then I just say, “Go make that. Go make that for me. I want to have a thing that does all this stuff. Just go make that stuff for me.” And he’s great. I’m having a lot of fun in that relationship.”
All of this is what makes Vulture unique and different not only from Spider-Man villains seen in previous movies, but from the other Marvel villains, and that was by design.
“I like the idea you could have someone who becomes a villain and they’re also a regular person,” director Jon Watts told us. “It’s just a grounded take on where someone like that could come from and where the other people that are a part of it come from, and just trying to root it in something that is believable, so it’s not just this arch-villain plot that comes out of nowhere.”
Spider-Man: Homecoming will swing into theaters on July 7. For more coverage from the set visit, click here.[Gallery not found]