Film Lists

American Assassin’s Michael Keaton: Bat From the Dead

Tony Black examines the career highlights of Michael Keaton...


Keaton landed himself another major recognition performance in Tom McCarthy’s 2015 (and quite brilliant) Oscar darling Spotlight, part of a talented ensemble, leading to 2016’s The Founder in which he played the key advertising salesman crucial to the founding of McDonald’s restaurants across America and then the world. Perhaps noticing how well Keaton can channel that quirky, fast-talking energy within his natural performances into playing villains, Marvel approached him to portray the Vulture in 2017’s Spider-Man: Homecoming—a well-received film in which Keaton’s performance was recognised as amongst the most impressive in Marvel’s Cinematic Universe. There is every chance he could return to menace Peter Parker again in future.

So what lies next for Keaton, now his middle-aged career resurgence seems firmly assured? He will re-team with Tim Burton after all these years, playing the bad guy in Burton’s live-action remake of Dumbo, and if the team behind American Assassin have their way and launch a franchise around Dylan O’Brien’s espionage agent, he could well be playing in more than just Marvel’s franchise sandbox. One thing is for certain – Keaton is without doubt Bat from the dead and here to stay.

What did you think of American Assassin? And what are your favourite Michael Keaton performances? Let us know!


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