That Michael Keaton is slipperier than he looks. When word went out that the Oscar-winning actor was in talks to play the villain in Sony’s umpteenth Spider-Man origin story, Spider-Man: Homecoming, it raised some eyebrows here at The A.V. Club. One because duh, he’s Batman. And two, he recently won an Oscar for playing an actor who doesn’t want to be remembered for his role in a superhero movie. Then Keaton dropped out of negotiations, and our nitpicky, continuity-obsessed minds were put at ease—as much as they ever can be.
But apparently, unlike Daniel Craig, Keaton can be persuaded to complicate his fictional principles with an infusion of cash. Turns out, the studio wasn’t sure if it could afford both Keaton and Robert Downey, Jr.’s Iron Man, and that’s why Keaton dropped out of negotiations. But now, according to Variety, Downey, Jr.’s contract has been successfully negotiated, and apparently the studio has enough left over to wine and dine Keaton as well. No word yet on what character he’ll be playing, but word on the internet street is that the film’s big bad will be The Vulture, which would be an ironic role for Keaton to play so soon after Birdman. Until you remember that these are just movies, and Michael Keaton the person is a completely separate entity than Michael Keaton the onscreen entity. But that’s no fun.