Michael Keaton Is Super Confused About the Marvel Universe Despite Having a Big Role In It

By Aeron Mer Eclarinal Updated:
Michael Keaton as Adrian Toomes, Marvel Studios logo, Vulture

The Marvel Cinematic Universe is filled with memorable performances from different actors, and many would agree that one of them is Michael Keaton's Adrian Toomes aka Vulture. 

Keaton made his MCU debut as Adrian Toomes in 2017's Spider-Man: Homecoming, making life difficult for Tom Holland's Peter Parker. Keaton's role as Vulture marked the first time that he portrayed a superhero villain considering that he previously played The Dark Knight in Tim Burton's Batman films. 

Despite being from the other side of the moral spectrum, Homecoming showcased that Toomes was a unique Marvel villain because he was someone who turned to the life of crime in order to make a living rather than to rule the world. The post-credits scene of the Spider-Man film showed that Toomes was locked up in jail, thus giving him an opportunity to return in a future MCU project. 

Marvel didn't waste time in bringing back Keaton for another run as Toomes due to his surprise inclusion in Sony's Morbius. While the debate about Morbius' place in the MCU is still up in the air, the return of Toomes is major evidence that the film exists in the same continuity with the world filled with Earth's Mightiest Heroes. 

Now, ahead of his return to the Marvel realm, Keaton opened up about an unusual dilemma. 


Michael Keaton Spider-Man

Michael Keaton sat down with The Hollywood Reporter to talk about his upcoming Marvel return to Morbius

The DCEU and MCU actor first recalled his experience upon returning to Atlanta, describing the place as an "entire city dedicated to Marvel" while jokingly saying that "they'll still be doing Marvel movies forever:"

"When I went down to do the Marvel things in Atlanta… It's an entire city dedicated to Marvel… They'll be doing Marvel movies forever. I'll be dead, and they'll still be doing Marvel movies."

Keaton then shared a funny story when he filmed his scenes in Morbius, revealing that he was confused when the filmmakers referenced Marvel plot points:  

“I'm nodding like I know what the f*ck they're talking about. I go, ‘Uh-huh.' And I'm thinking, ‘You may as well be explaining quantum physics right now to me. All I know is I just know my guy. And I know the basics.' So finally, they were looking at me, and they just started laughing. They said, ‘You don't know what we're talking about, do you?' I said, ‘No, I don't, no idea what you're talking about.'“


Keaton's story is hilarious at first, but it is understandable that the actor is still confused about the ins and outs of the Marvel Cinematic Universe considering that he was only featured in a single film in the franchise's massive slate. 

Interestingly, this isn't the first time that a Marvel mainstay has admitted to being confused about the MCU. Gwyneth Paltrow, who played Pepper Potts in the Iron Man films, admitted that she is sometimes clueless about in-universe happenings of the MCU because "there are so many" of them: 

"I never read stuff. But it is confusing because there are so many Marvel movies, and to be honest, I haven’t seen very many of them. It’s really stupid and I’m sorry, but I’m a 47-year-old mother."

To put things into perspective, Paltrow has starred in seven MCU feature films, and she is still confused about the whole ordeal. That said, Keaton's remarks are valid from an actor's standpoint. 

It is unknown how Keaton's Adrian Toomes will fit into the complex narrative of Morbius, but there's a strong chance that he could be the answer to the longstanding question of whether the Sonyverse film is actually in the MCU. 

If Morbius is set in an alternate universe, Keaton could end up playing a different version of Toomes, thus allowing the actor to give a unique take on the character.

Given that the multiverse is involved in this theory, it could strongly hint why the actor was confused all of a sudden. The MCU is stacked as it is, and adding more properties into a multiverse-sized affair could confuse the actors involved. 

It's worth pointing out that Marvel Studios already held a meeting about the multiverse rules of the franchise, and this should be a good sign for Keaton and anyone who is baffled about this new storytelling tool. 

Fans can check out Michael Keaton's return as Adrian Toomes when Mobius premieres on January 21, 2022

- About The Author: Aeron Mer Eclarinal
Aeron is a news/features writer and Content Lead for The Direct who has been working for the site since March 2020. From writing about the inter-connectivity of the Marvel Cinematic Universe to having an extended knowledge about DC TV's Arrowverse, Aeron's expertise has since expanded into the realm of reality TV, K-drama, animated, and live-action shows from Netflix,  Disney+, Prime Video, MGM+, Peacock, Paramount+, and Max. When he isn't writing and watching all things MCU, Aeron is heavily invested with the NBA (go Celtics!) and occasionally watches thrilling matches in the WWE.