Sony has cast Aaron Taylor-Johnson to play the titular character in the new Spider-Man spinoff movie, Kraven the Hunter. Taylor-Johnson has already acted in the Marvel Universe, playing Quicksilver (Pietro Maximoff), twin brother of Wanda Maximoff, the Scarlett Witch, his character having met his demise sacrificing himself during Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015). Taylor-Johnson’s most recent work includes playing a supporting role in the Oscar-winning film Tenet (2020).

Credit: Marvel.

The character Kraven is a dangerous hunter part of the Marvel Comics and is one of Spider-Man’s deadliest foes. Kraven is a Soviet immigrant named Sergei Kravinoff whose family escaped to the United States in 1917 during the February Revolution. His parents were Russian aristocrats and was orphaned after his parents died. The reason he dislikes spiders, and by extension, Spider-Man could be attributed to the spider-infested asylum in which his mother met her end. A confident, boastful big game hunter with an honour code, Kraven’s mission in life is to destroy Spider-Man. The character debuted in The Amazing Spider-Man issue #15 in August, 1964. Kraven is also a member of the original Sinister Six, a group of Spider-Man supervillains brought together by Doctor Octopus. Another interesting fact about this notorious villain is that he consumes a special potion made of jungle herbs which slows down his physical aging and increases his strength. The potion also enhances his senses, including sight, hearing, and smell, making him an excellent tracker when he has to hunt.  

(Marvel’s Avengers: Age of Ultron).

The tricky aspect of this is that the film will be part of the Sony Pictures Universe of Marvel Characters (SPUMC) which is the shared universe between Sony and Marvel, and is the fourth in the SPUMC films. Kraven will become the third villain from Spider-Man’s rogues’ gallery to get a standalone movie.  Kraven the Hunter is part of Sony’s plan to create spin-offs from The Amazing Spider-Man 2 (2014) that highlight Spider-Man villains from the comics, and the company has spent a lot of time developing the standalone movie for Kraven. Although Sony owns the film rights to Spider-Man’s rogues’ gallery, Sony has shown no indication of wanting to integrate the villain into the same Spider-Man universe, despite Tom Holland playing Spider-Man for Marvel and Sony.

Kraven the Hunter is set to be released on January 13th, 2023. It will be directed by J.C. Chandor and produced by Avi Arad and Matt Tolmach. Meanwhile, the script will be rewritten by Art Marcum and Matt Holloway. 

Published by HOLR Magazine.