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With Phase 3 of the MCU set to commence upon the imminent release of Captain America: Civil War, one aspect of the universe that has everyone’s attention is our friendly neighborhood Spider-Man. After a long and public struggle between Sony and Marvel Studios, a deal was arranged to share the legendary character, with Tom Holland’s iteration of the Web Head planned to soon grace the silver screen. Holland's tenure starts in the upcoming Captain Americasequel, and then in 2018 with his own film, Spider-Man: Homecoming.
As if that wasn’t great enough, we have also just learned that Spider-Man: Homecoming is attempting to enlist the acting talents of Oscar nominee Michael Keaton to portray the film’s villain. A beloved and versatile actor, there’s no shortage of possible villains that the former Batman could portray, and as such our speculation has only just begun. After ample consideration, we’ve compiled a list of the seven villains that Michael Keaton could absolutely play in Spider-Man: Homecoming who haven't yet received the silver screen treatment; sorry Green Goblin and Doc Ock, you guys are old news. Now let’s get the ball rolling with No. 7…
7. ChameleonConsidering the fact that Spider-Man: Homecoming will mark the first ever solo adventure for Tom Holland’s version of the iconic Marvel hero, it would make sense for Jon Watts’ upcoming film to use the hero’s first ever villain. Dmitri Smerdyakov, a.k.a Chameleon, debuted along with Peter Parker all the way back in 1963 during the events of Amazing Spider-Man #1. Unlike many of Spider-Man’s iconic silver screen villains, Chameleon poses a threat on a much more subtle, cerebral level. Rather than representing only a physical threat to the Wall Crawler, Chameleon can take the appearance of any person – allowing him to easily evade detection. A movie revolving around Spider-Man’s struggle against Chameleon could almost play out like the It Follows of superhero movies; anyone could be the enemy and the tension never ceases. The character is also believed to potentially be in his 70s, making the 64-year-old Michael Keaton a strong match to portray him.
6. CarnageOf all the characters present on this list, Cletus Kasady, a.k.a Carnage, would likely be the most physically demanding for Michael Keaton to portray. A deranged serial killer turned symbiote host, Carnage has become one of Spider-Man’s most iconic villains -- one whom fans have longed to see on the silver screen for some time. With a twisted sense of humor and very little aversion to taking lives in grisly fashion, Carnage is the type of role that Keaton could really sink his teeth into, all thanks to a robust resume over the years full of deranged characters that seem to take glee in chaos. For him to give us an older, more seasoned version of Carnage would be nothing less than awesome, though it would admittedly be difficult to bring him to the silver screen without Venom. We’ll leave that to Spider-Man: Homecoming’s screenwriters to figure that puzzle out.
5. MysterioMuch like Chameleon, Mysterio represents a stark departure from the physical threats that have marked Spider-Man’s silver screen career. Possessing no true superpowers to speak of, Quentin Beck, a.k.a Mysterio, is a former Hollywood special effects wizard who uses his talents for illusion, hypnosis, and spectacle in a life of crime. Michael Keaton could channel his inner Birdman, portraying Beck as a jaded member of the Hollywood community who yearns for a new type of glory. Honestly, considering the amount of potential for commentary on the filmmaking community, we’re absolutely shocked that a Spider-Man film hasn’t decided to utilize him yet in any significant fashion.
4. MorbiusMorbius, also known as "the living vampire", became the villain fans know and love during his search for a cure to his blood borne illness. Instead of eliminating the disease, he became a deadly creature of the night, as well as one of Spider-Man’s most unique foes. Morbius’ backstory carries a greater sense of tragedy than most Spidey’s rogues gallery (which is saying something) and Michael Keaton’s potential take on the character could easily elevate him above Marvel’s somewhat bland, cookie-cutter villains of past movies. Beyond that, including a vampire like Morbius could also open the door for a rebooted Blade to eventually enter the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
3. The JackalReal name Miles Warren, The Jackal is a brilliant yet mad scientist gifted in the field of genetics. In the comics he has a creepy, unhealthy obsession with Gwen Stacy, and sets out to clone her following her death at the hands of the Green Goblin – an occurrence which he blames Peter Parker for. Although much of that backstory would have to be condensed or altered to fit a single movie, it would be amazing to see Michael Keaton grace the silver screen as the creepy, Gwen-obsessed villain. Oh, and introducing The Jackal could potentially setup the landmark Clone Saga story arc for the Spider-Man franchise; so there’s that.
2. HobgoblinIn many ways a successor to Norman Osborn’s Green Goblin, Hobgoblin would allow Jon Watts an opportunity to maintain a Goblin villain for Spider-Man to face off against, whilst deviating from what audiences have seen before. Unlike the unhinged Green Goblin, Hobgoblin has filtered out the elements from the Goblin formula that cause insanity, which would offer the film a more methodical, calculating Goblin nemesis than audiences have become used to. Although the character was eventually revealed to be millionaire fashion designer Roderick Kingsley, Hobgoblin’s identity remained a secret from audiences for years. It would be endlessly interesting for Spider-Man: Homecoming to take the same approach by having Michael Keaton play a Hobgoblin whose identity, backstory, and true motives remain a complete mystery to a clueless and helpless Peter Parker.
1. VultureOut of all the potential characters for Michael Keaton to portray in Spider-Man: Homecoming, Vulture seems like the most likely prospect. Real name Adrian Toomes; Vulture is an aging former electrical engineer whose business partner swindled him out of his money and his job, leading him to a life of crime in order to get back what he believes is rightfully his. He employs a vulture-themed flight harness which grants him the ability to soar through the air, as well as superhuman strength on par with the wall crawler. Considering the fact that Michael Keaton is currently in his mid 60s, the tragic story of an older Vulture seems like a perfect choice for the actor.