It has been announced that Michael Keaton will be playing a villain in the upcoming Spider-Man movie Homecoming (shots fired by Marvel). Some of us are excited because we remember Michael Keaton as Bruce Wayne and Batman and some of us are just happy that Marvel has seem to hit another home run by casting an actor with enough range to play a plethora of Spider-Man villains. But if we are going to be completely honest about things, Michael Keaton is no spring chicken. So it isn't likely that he will play a guy doing back flips or anything of that nature. There is one character that pops into mind when I think of a villain Keaton could play. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you Ezekiel.
Who is Ezekiel:
Ezekiel is an older, wealthy gentleman who tells Peter a very interesting theory about the origins of his powers. Ezekiel tells Peter that it may not have been the radiation in the spider that gave Peter his powers. It was the spider choosing to give Peter the powers. Ezekiel knows this because he gained powers. From a spider totem through a spiritual ritual. He asks Peter "What came first, the radiation or the power". While Ezekiel started out as a hero and somewhat of a mentor to Peter, like always, the Parker Luck struck and things went bad. Ezekiel turned on Spider-Man and tried to use him as a sacrificial lamb. By sacrificing Peter, Ezekiel would be able to keep his spider powers and live a nice long life. After Peter and Ezekiel's minds meld, Ezekiel realizes how much of a pretender to an animal totem as Spider-Man's villains and gives his life for Peter's.
Why Keaton would be great:
Keaton has literally done it all in movies and Ezekiel does it all for Peter in the comic books. Ezekiel was a mentor, a father figure, and eventually Peter's betrayer. Playing a character that shows Spider-Man the ropes only to betray him seems to be a great way to use all of Keaton's range as an actor. When I heard that Keaton was cast I hoped that he wouldn't be playing Uncle Ben. Keaton's too good to have such little screen time and, honestly, how many times do we need to see Uncle Ben get shot? Ezekiel reminded Peter a lot of his uncle mostly because of the way he spoke to him and treated him. So since we don't need Uncle Ben's death again, but still need a guy to help Peter along a bit, why not use a guy who was Uncle Ben to him?
One other thing that would be great is the eventual betrayal. After a movie or two of Ezekiel being this great guy to Peter and helping him along the way, the eventual treachery would be heartbreaking for the audience. It would hurt the fans to watch a young Peter Parker having another loved one turn on him. In order for the betrayal to really work, you have to have an actor who can make you really believe that he actually cares and Keaton would be absolutely perfect.
Picture Keaton giving Peter a "With great power must also come great responsibility" type of speech. Explaining how Peter is the real deal and all of these animal themed villains he's fought are just pretenders. Helping learn how to fully use all of his powers and not just the strength and agility. Instilling confidence in the young hero.Helping get in touch with his Spider totem. It could be great.
While I know the chance of this happening is one in a million since Keaton will probably be used to play a more well known villain like Norman Osborn, it would be cool to have Keaton play a more obscure character that would show how good he is and grab the audience in on the story and not necessarily the characters.
Would Keaton make a good Ezekiel? Let me know in the comments.