Although Keaton hasn’t been seen in the MCU since his time playing the lead villain in Spider-Man: Homecoming, Marvel and Sony almost gave him a surprising cameo role in Spidey’s massive Multiversal 2021 solo outing.
Michael Keaton’s Scrapped No Way Home Cameo
Marvel Studios concept artist Phil Saunders shared new art revealing Michael Keaton’s scrapped cameo as Adrian Toomes/the Vulture in 2021’s Spider-Man: No Way Home.
Hinting that Keaton wasn’t available for shooting, Saunders explained how this version of the film would have seen Peter Parker “enlisting the aid of a former foe” in order to cure/rehabilitate the film’s five displaced villains:
“On any project of this complexity, the script will go through numerous changes as story direction adapts to the greater MCU plan and challenges such as actor availability. An early version of Spiderman: No Way Home had Peter enlisting the aid of a former foe in rehabilitating the captured multiverse villains. Much fun would have been had watching him frog-march the multiversal miscreants across town with the help of Doc Ock's hacked tentacles. It was a great joy to try to capture the diverse attitudes of these incredible actors.”
Controlling Doctor Octopus’ arms the way he did in the final movie, the art showed Peter showing up at the Vulture’s door with the Green Goblin and Electro webbed up against Doc Ock as they struggle to break free.
It’s unclear whether Keaton’s Vulture would have helped the titular hero with curing the villains, although it would have given Peter a tie back to his MCU origin story should he have been included.
Keaton was initially thought up for a potential role in No Way Home, with previously revealed concept art showing him alongside the film’s other villains shortly before Aunt May’s tragic death.
Will Michael Keaton Return to the MCU?
Looking at Michael Keaton’s possible inclusion in this movie, along with his recent appearance as Batman in The Flash, it’s fairly likely that the actor would come back to the MCU should there be a place for him.
He was even utilized in the post-credits scene from Sony Pictures’ Morbius in 2022, which would seemingly be the biggest story obstacle keeping him from an MCU comeback as he is now in another universe.
For now, Spider-Man is likely to remain on the outskirts of the MCU until Spider-Man 4 becomes a reality, with the film being in the early stages of development amidst the ongoing WGA and SAG-AFTRA strikes.
But with a Spidey sequel not rumored to come to theaters until Summer 2025, it will be some time until Marvel and Sony decide whether to bring Keaton’s Vulture back for another round of action.
Spider-Man: No Way Home is now streaming on Starz and is available for digital and physical home purchase.