Michael Keaton does great in Spider-Man: Homecoming, but we nearly got a whole other Vulture.
The character of Adrian Toomes had a different arc, according to reports.
Writers John Francis Daley and Jonathan Goldstein explain they almost threw out the blue-collar inventor storyline altogether. Instead, their original idea would be to have Toomes as Peter’s teacher, which would make their relationship more personal.
“He was still stealing from Damage Control, but we had a different way into it,” says Daley. “[Toomes] was going to be [Peter’s] teacher.”
During the writing process, the duo had a change of heart. “Then we were like, ‘No, let’s separate him fully from the school — or at least so it seems,'” Daley explains. “And that’s I think when we decided to make it the love interest’s dad.”
The challenge was to make Vulture a sympathetic antagonist. “I think our intention was always to keep him a not-terrible guy,” Daley says. “What I can never relate to or even root against is the mustache-twirly villain [where it’s unclear] why they’re evil, and they’re just evil for evil’s sake.”
According to Goldstein, the writers chose to de-age Toomes to being slightly younger. The character was originally a senior citizen in the comics.
“Once we started talking about Vulture, it was clear that the version in the comics wouldn’t do, where he was this bald old man,” Goldstein says. “It just never felt terribly scary on film to us. So we thought, ‘All right, let’s make him more of a middle-aged guy.”
Regarding the twist of Toomes being Liz Allan’s father, this came from debating how to raise the stakes. As Daley explains, “The biggest challenge is finding equal levels of stakes in both of those worlds, because obviously the stakes of high school are inherently lower than life-or-death stakes of being a superhero and potentially dying.”
“We found a way to combine those two plot threads and in a way that we hope pays off,” Goldstein says. “You think you’re in the high school movie story, and then you’re shocked to find out this relationship.”
Spider-Man: Homecoming is now playing.