Spider-Man in Captain America Civil War

I remember watching the trailers for The Avengers and seeing that shot of the Marvel’s superhero team facing down the giant flying leviathan in the streets of New York and just knowing that I was looking at the film’s climactic moments, at the final threat Iron Man and Captain America and the rest of the crew would face. That just turned out to be canny marketing, as that giant beastie was one of many and Marvel had accomplished something pretty damn cool: it managed to hide its biggest surprises from audiences until they were in the theater.

So I remember that moment whenever the folks representing Marvel Studios play coy with the details and dodge questions and don’t explain who certain actors are playing. It’s for our own good! That brings us to today’s little comic book news blast, as Michael Keaton has been finally confirmed to be playing the Vulture in Spider-Man: Homecoming while Zendaya remains tight-lipped about her role in the film.

The first tidbit comes from The Toronto Sun, who interviewed Marvel Studios president Kevin Feige about Doctor Strange. Then, in a question about upcoming villains, he confirms what everyone pretty much already knew:

We’ve had a wish list and most of them in the near-term are coming together. Cate Blanchett is playing Hela in Thor: Ragnarok. Michael Keaton’s Vulture in Spider-Man is something. And of course, finally, we’re showcasing Josh Brolin’s Thanos [in Avengers: Infinity War]. We’re looking forward to that very much.

We’ve spent the past six months assuming that Michael Keaton was the villain of Spider-Man: Homecoming and assuming that the villain in question was the Vulture (whose old-fashioned wing-suit is looking to get a high-tech upgrade), but there it is – casually dropped by Feige in a quick interview question. While I’m not especially keen on Vulture as a character (he’s fine), I’m very keen on Michael Keaton, a national treasure who I very much enjoy watching in just about everything.

Meanwhile, The Hollywood Reporter interviewed Zendaya, who was announced to be playing a character named Michelle before she was apparently outed as the new Mary Jane Watson, Peter Parker’s longtime on-and-off-again love interest. When asked about it directly, Zendaya (who had to deal with usual online trolling bullshit that always transpires when a person of color takes on a formally white comic book character) brushed off the controversy like a boss and explained that her character is not romantic with Tom Holland’s Peter Parker:

My character is not romantic. My character is like very dry, awkward, intellectual and because she’s so smart, she just feels like she doesn’t need to talk to people, like “My brain is so far ahead of you that you’re just not really on my level.” So she comes off very weird. But to me, she is very cool because she’s deep. She’s always thinking about something, always reading. I like that. And I also like that I don’t really have to do anything for hair and makeup. I just get to walk in and walk out.

Now that’s a good question dodge – ignore the elephant in the room (“Are you Mary Jane?”) and offer up another answer that sounds really good. Well done.

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