We can officially add John Leguizamo to the list of would-be Vultures alongside Ben Kingsley and John Malkovich. Leguizamo isn’t a stranger to playing comic book villains, having portrayed Clown/Violator in 1997’s Spawn and, more recently, voicing The Riddler in Batman: The Audio Adventures. But a few years ago, he came close to filling an antagonistic role in the Marvel Cinematic Universe when it looked as though the studio’s first choice for that particular character wasn’t going to pan out. While speaking with ComicBook.com, Leguizamo confirmed that he met with Sony and Marvel about playing Adrian Toomes’ winged alter-ego in Spider-Man: Homecoming before the part ultimately went to Michael Keaton.
News of Keaton’s Homecoming involvement began making the rounds in April 2016. However, just one week after the original story broke, he took himself out of the running. It was during this time that the studios began courting other actors to bring the Vulture to life, eventually settling on Leguizamo, who was all set to begin shooting. But by the following month, Keaton had done an about-face and joined the cast after all.
“I was supposed to be the Vulture,” said Leguizamo. “We had negotiated and I was about to play him, and they said that Michael Keaton wanted it back and they asked me if I would give it up. I said, ‘Well, okay I guess.’ They said, ‘No, we’ll work with you again, we’re gonna…’ That’s what happened there.”
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Leguizamo also claims that the studio offered him a supporting role in the film as a consolation prize. He didn’t say what it was, but unfortunately, the part was too small for his liking.
“They offered me something tiny,” added Leguizamo. “I went, ‘Nuh-uh.'”
In the end, things seem to have worked out for the best. Keaton’s Homecoming performance led critics and fans alike to hail his take on the Vulture as one of the strongest villains in the MCU. Last year, Keaton finally got a chance to reprise his role in Morbius’ post-credits scenes, both of which baffled audiences when the film opened to dismal reviews and underwhelming box office numbers. Because of this, his character’s onscreen fate is still up in the air.
Do you think Leguizamo would have made a good Vulture? Which other Marvel characters can you see him playing? Let us know in the comment section below!
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