According to a report from Variety, Michael Keaton might be making a surprise return to superhero movies by signing up for Sony and Marvel’s recently titled Spider-Man: Homecoming. Variety’s sources say he’s “in early talks” to play “a villain” in the Tom Holland-starring reboot, which would be a departure from his heroic roles in Batman, Batman Returns, and Birdman—even if that last one wasn’t a real superhero movie. Marvel and Sony haven’t commented on this yet, so there’s no official word on who Keaton would play, but another rumor going around lately says that classic Spidey villain the Vulture would be one of the enemies who pops up in Homecoming. This rumor—which comes from Birth. Movies. Death.—also suggests that the Vulture wouldn’t be the main villain of the movie, which does fit nicely with Variety’s use of “a villain” and not “the villain.”
However, Keaton going back to superhero movies seems fairly unlikely on its own, and Keaton going back to superhero movies to play a bird-themed character so soon after starring in Birdman seems even more unlikely, so the two rumors might not be connected. On the other hand, though, the Vulture is one of the few recognizable Spider-Man villains who could be played by an older guy like Keaton, so it doesn’t seem that unlikely.
With or without Keaton, director Jon Watts’ Spider-Man: Homecoming will be in theaters on July 7, 2017.