Comic book movies are a funny thing. Because before the introduction of serialized storytelling and giant franchises with the Marvel Cinematic Universe, superhero flicks would typically be standalone films that operated separately from other installments in the genre. As such, there are multiple version of certain characters, while some actors have played quite a few superheroes in various films. Chris Evans played both the Human Torch in The Fantastic Four films and currently stars as Captain America in the MCU. Ryan Reynolds was DC's Green Lantern before stepping into Deadpool's shoes. And while Michael Keaton is playing the villainous Vulture in Spider-Man: Homecoming, he has the distinction of playing Batman long before Ben Affleck or Christian Bale. Now it appears that Keaton wanted to make sure the newcomers realized who wore the cowl before it was cool.
Tom Holland, who plays Peter Parker/Spider-Man in the Marvel Cinematic Universe, recently did an interview with Short List Magazine about Spider-Man: Homecoming. In this interview (via CBM), Holland revealed how Michael Keaton would troll him onset, reminding the young actor about his Batman roots. Holland recounts,
Pretty cool. He's a badass. We have a fight in the movie and I punch him. He turns around and says [in a deep voice], 'I'm Batman.' He kept doing Batman quotes on set.
Move over Batfleck, because the OG Batman is back on the superhero scene. And while he's playing a villain this time around, Michael Keaton will always be the definitive Batman of the 1990's.
All joking aside, it's pretty great that Michael Keaton has such a sense of humor about his time as the Dark Knight. Because in the years since Christopher Nolan's Batman trilogy premiered, the phrase "I'm Batman" has become a popular internet meme. Part of this was due to the somewhat ridiculous voice that Christian Bale used while wearing the cowl, and Michael Keaton is apparently in on the joke. As if you needed another reason to love the Birdman actor.
It should be interesting to see how Michael Keaton takes on the role of Vulture in Spider-Man: Homecoming. The Marvel Cinematic Universe is known for having a problem with their villains; the majority of them barely function for one movie and are then quickly killed/written off. With the exception of Tom Hiddleston's Loki and Frank Grillo's Crossbones, we haven't even seen villains return to the MCU after their debut. Hopefully Keaton's Vulture will usher in a new age of MCU villains, and we'll see his character's influence across more than one movie.