What Does Michael Keaton’s Flash Role Mean For Spider-Man’s Vulture?

Michael Keton with Iron Man's mask in Homecoming

Over the past decade of filmmaking, comic book movies have emerged as the most profitable genre in the business. As such plenty of studios are creating their own cinematic universe, with certain actors appearing in multiple roles. DC fans recently got very exciting news, as Batman actor Michael Keaton will be reportedly reprising his role in the upcoming Flash movie. But what does that mean for the future of his Spider-Man villain Vulture?

Michael Keaton returned to the world of superheroes with 2017's Spider-Man: Homecoming, playing Adrian Toomes / Vulture. He was the main antagonist of the blockbuster, and was ultimately sent to prison as a result of his villainy. But Vulture is still alive, so it seems like only a matter of time before Keaton returns to the Marvel Cinematic Universe. But could his new gig at DC get in the way?

Just days ago it was reported that Michael Keaton will be joining the DC Extended Universe as Batman, reprising the role he played so iconically in Tim Burton's pair of Batman movies. The role will factor into Ezra Miller's Flash movie, which has been sitting in development hell for a number of years. The movie's plot remains a mystery, but it will seemingly involve time travel and meeting of an older, alternate Bruce Wayne.

Right now it's unclear when Spider-Man 3 or The Flash will go into production, as the film industry has come to a screeching halt. But if both projects plan to start filming at around the same time, could Michael Keaton's upcoming DC debut interfere with plans to reprise his role as Vulture? Right now the future of the movie world is up in the air, which makes the exciting news of Keaton's Batman return a double edged sword.

Aside from the legendary Adam West, Michael Keaton was the first actor to play Batman on the big screen. He played the role in both of Tim Burton's movies, Batman and Batman Returns. And while we've seen plenty of other Bruce Waynes in the years since, Keaton's performance is notable in its iconography. And there's no telling what he'll bring to the role opposite Ezra Miller in the DCEU.

Michael Keaton as Batman

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The Flash movie has been in development hell for years, but Michael Keaton's casting as Batman shows that the solo flick is finally moving forward. The upcoming blockbuster has lost a number of directors throughout this time, before falling to the wayside. But that seems to have changed this time around, with IT director Andy Muschietti seemingly working toward finally making The Flash into a reality.

As far as the MCU goes, Vulture's return to Tom Holland's Spider-Man franchise feels inevitable. But it's currently unclear what the studio has planned, and when the villain will make his way out of prison. Perhaps more villains will be used to set up a Sinister Six-esque league of villains? Those are narrative seeds that were planed in The Amazing Spider-Man 2 that never came to fruition.

CinemaBlend will keep you updated on Michael Keaton's various comic book roles as more details become public. In the meantime, check out our 2020 release list to plan your next trip to the movies.

Corey Chichizola
Movies Editor

Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Double majored in theater and literature during undergrad. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBlend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his favorite actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid.