As Spider-Man prepares to make his debut in Marvel’s Cinematic Universe on May 5 with an appearance in Captain America: Civil War, a new face is reportedly being considered for his standalone venture. According to multiple sites, Michael Keaton is currently in talks to play the villain in Spidey’s latest reboot, Spider-Man: Homecoming.
The joint production, which will see Sony and Marvel teaming up to bring Spider-Man back into the Marvel fold in full force, is luring Keaton away from his DC roots to go after everybody’s favorite teenage superhero.
Related: Between the Streams talks Rogue One, Hardcore Henry, and Hulu’s The Path
The news has spawned no shortage of quick quips about Keaton’s origins as the Caped Crusader in Tim Burton’s 1989 classic, Batman, and the sequel Batman Returns; most notably, the phrase Batman v Spider-Man has been bandied about. If Keaton were to take on the role it would be his first in a superhero film since the second of Burton’s genre-bending flicks hit theaters in 1992.
Keaton would join confirmed Spider-Man: Homecoming cast members, including the latest to don Spidey’s red tights, Tom Holland, as well as Marisa Tomei, who will play Peter Parker’s Aunt May. The film will be directed by Jon Watts, with a script from Francis Daley and production from Amy Pascal, Jonathan Goldstein, and Kevin Feige.
We don’t know much about the plot just yet, though the use of “Homecoming” in the title seems to be the production team’s attempt at having some fun with Spider-Man’s return to Marvel’s domain. Sony has held exclusive rights to the character for decades, and has pushed out two franchises, including three films with Toby Maguire in the lead role, and a dual-film reboot starring Andrew Garfield.
After falling off Hollywood’s A-list radar for years, Keaton’s career got a major boost in 2014 due to his brilliant performance in Alejandro G. Iñárritu’s Birdman or The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance. If things work out for this latest role, Keaton will have come full circle — from the former protagonist in one of DC’s most iconic storylines to the bad guy in one of Marvel’s.
We’ll be following this and any other Spidey updates as they develop, so stay with us.